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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:20 PM
Original message
I found out what eats strawberries
recently I asked if cats eat strawberries. I have a few potted strawberries. Something was nibbling at the berries. Not even eating them, but just taking bites out right before they could get ripe. I assumed it was Squirrels, until whatever it was managed to pull a pot entirely over. Then I thought cat.

This afternoon I stepped out to water the plants. Then I noticed it. An opossum. A little tiny one. granted they all look a by scuzzy, but this one looked like the one even momma didn't love. He didnt seem at all afraid of me either. I walked over, but he just stood there bold as can be. Then he ate my strawberries. And then another. Then he went off behind some cinderblocks where he appears to have made a den for himself.

Now what do I do?
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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. The mess boys?
"Ah, but the strawberries..."

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Ptah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's worse than you think.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. They eat everything.
They get my tomatoes every damn summer. I cage the plants with chicken wire, although they often get the fruits anyway. Of course, some of that could also be blamed on the squirrels. They sneak through the cracks.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Uh oh
The tomatoes have gone unscathed so far. Now I have a new worry.

How do I get rid of it? This is the middle of the city. What is it even doing here. my "yard" is all of 100 SF.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #9
19. You could get a humane trap and relocate it.
That's usually a fruitless endeavor, as there will be another one to move in and take its place. The one that lives under my shed has 3 or 4 babies every year. (Actually, I'm probably on great-grandchildren or great-great-grandchildren at this point. Opossums only live a couple of years, if they're lucky enough to avoid getting run over by a car.)

Here's an okay site with some other suggestions on how to deal with Pogo:
http://www.helpingwildlife.org/wldlemergency/livingwith...

You're best off finding some deterrent. You may also have raccoons, birds, squirrels, and other hungry wildlife in the neighborhood to fend off.
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. !!!
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bluedigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. Get cooking!
Confit Possum with Apple and Strawberry salad, and Peach dressing http://www.abc.net.au/local/recipes/2010/11/22/3073102....
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. How much
meat could there be on a tiny little possum. Thing was the size of a rat, and not a big bad one.
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. I had a baby opossum eat cupcakes I'd put out on the porch to cool---
I put two cooling racks full of cupcakes out on the back porch to cool. Within 3 minutes, a baby opossum was eating one, holding it perfectly in his little paws.

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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I wish mine was so cute
He takes a bite out of each strawberry, never eating it all, just ruining them one at a time.
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Oh, no--the little fucker left a footprint in each and every other cupcake before
settling on one to munch on. Had to rebake 2 dozen.

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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. That sounds more like it
Plus now, per an earlier OP, I have to worry for my tomatoes.
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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. I hope it ate all the whole strawberry and not the half of a tomato
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 12:21 AM by whistler162
then move on to the next one that the chipmunk's
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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
13. plant some extra for him (her?)
the babies are so darn CUTE

Segregate the ones you want to keep from the ones the critters can have.

That's what I do.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. He dosn't seem to honor my segregation
The plants were started as a lark, but I lost my job recently, and the idea of having free food to supplement my diet just got more important, ya know? Plus it would be nice to get at least one of my own strawberries. The thing nibbles each one, just before it gets ripe. Never finishes one, just eats a little bite out of each.

Plus the idea of having a possum home in my approx hundred SF of "yard" is slightly alarming. Transitory visitors are one thing, but its not so much space that I am overly comfortable sharing it with wildlife on a regular basis.

I was just informed that they are not native to this area, although I thought they were native virtually everywhere.
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eShirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 05:10 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Maybe he thinks you won't notice just a little bite.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #16
26. He's a cheeky little bugger
As I stood right there, not 5 feet from him, he gnawed the end off of one that would have been perfectly ripe tomorrow, stopped after a few bites, and then pulled down a big one(one that I personally had REALLY high hopes for) that was still mostly white, and started gnawing on it. Right there with me looking at him. I even got close and stomped my feet and tried to scare him off. It was like I was in some sort of critter blind spot.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 01:28 AM
Response to Original message
15. Buy a catch/release trap
Then after you snag the critter, either turn it over to the SPCA, local animal control or take it to the country and set it free.

Possums are fearless, stubborn and not likely to give up a food source.
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zanana1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
17. They love kitty food (dry).
Sometimes, I'll keep some on the back porch when a stray comes around, but the possums usually get to it before the cat does. They love the stuff.
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siligut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
18. Elevate the pots of strawberries and give sad, little guy a break
I don't know how big your pots of strawberries are; but can you elevate them on a table or something? Then put out cat food or old fruit for the sad, unlovable creature.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. You could also cage the pots.
Get some chicken wire and make some animal-proof enclosures. There are probably more than opossums in the neighborhood, and lots of critters love strawberries. And, yeah, give him/her something else to nibble on. It's a good way to use up produce that's beyond its time.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #20
27. I am already skirting the rules
just by having plants in my "yard". Add wire and make it ugly, and fines will follow, to be sure.

Plus wire costs money and buying is not on my agenda. Conserving every cent until I find a new job is near the top of my to do list.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. his new home
is about 3 feet from the curb. The street past that curb is the feeder street for a strip mall, and the drivers would be generally unbothered to run down a human to get to their starbucks, nermind a critter. On one side is apartments. on the otherside a completely paved lot, and then a major street. I doubt he is long for this world if this is is plan for a home.

And then there is the fact that for him to get into or out of his den necessarily uses the same path as my only way of getting into and out of my den. These are apartments, without a real yard. He is small now, but critters have a way of growing. And I would hate to meet him some dark night when I am taking out the trash. It would likely result in injury to one or both of us.

Plus he seems to have gotten to the elevated strawberries as well.

I am afraid cohabitation seems likely to end in one form of tragedy or another.
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Lucinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
21. I'd put some food and water out for the little guy.
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 09:02 AM by Lucinda
And check into something safe that you could spray on the tomatoes and berries that would keep him away. Maybe a cayenne mixture spray around the plants? I've heard from my grandmother that they don't like cayenne.

This lists things you can put out for feed and a couple ways to prevent nibbling on things you want to save. I'd google for a cayenne recipe too.
http://www.communitywebs.org/mintonfarmanimalrescuecent...
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. The first time I noticed the nibbling
I assumed squirrels, and put a cayenne and petroleum mix across the tops of the fence posts. This seemed to end the problem for a few weeks. then it started again. And I spread a pound of cayenne over the ground of my hundred square feet, and in the plant beds and over the plants. And he seems not to have noticed that.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
22. Our local animal control will set live traps of you request them.
I'm not sure what they do with the possums, skunks, racoons, etc., but I've been told that they are released in areas where they can survive. They can be a real nuisance, not to mention that earlier this year there were many rabid skunks caught or killed in a small town hear here.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. I am told
that they are non native to this area, and would be killed. I hate to do that to a baby critter who has not yet threatened my person(actually, seemed more dazed, almost unaware of my presence, and I got pretty close)

On the plus side, from what I read, they are far less likely to be rabid than most critters, as their immune system is beefy to allow them to eat whatever junk they find.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
28. It probably will not live there forever. Just let it be.
Winter will be here sooner than you think, and the little guy needs to be ready. And to be ready, it has to have a place that is familiar to it. Don't relocate it now. But I wouldn't provide it with food and water intentionally either. That could negate my first statement.
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