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Does anyone know what kind of varmint did this?

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enuegii Donating Member (624 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 11:27 AM
Original message
Does anyone know what kind of varmint did this?


I suspect a mammal of sort, maybe field mice, but I have noticed in the past ants feeding on the damaged tomatoes, although they may just have been being opportunistic.

This never happens with green tomatoes--only just as they begin to turn ripe, and I have seen unblemished, fist-sized tomatoes reduced to scraps of skin hanging from the vine overnight. It certainly looks like teeth marks in this case, but something about the little round holes in the upper right seems kind of odd.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Birds
That's my guess
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enuegii Donating Member (624 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I hadn't thought of that, but that could be.
I've noticed several thrushes skulking around the tomatoes in the garden lately. Wouldn't have thought they would mess with the tomatoes, though--I figured they were after insects.
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 02:11 PM
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3. Voles!
The bane of my gardening existence, along with their larger cousins the hoof rat (aka Eastern Whitetail Deer!).

The love to chew into tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, melons, really any fruit with seeds inside, mostly from the bottom, seeing as they're short little things.

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enuegii Donating Member (624 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That could be, too--locally, we call them field mice,
and there's a hay field across the street that was recently mowed, which tends to put them on the move.

I'm leaning toward birds, though. Probably mockingbirds, and not thrushes: from what I've read, they seem to have a reputation for the practice.

I guess I'll have to get some netting and some rubber snakes or something.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 03:07 PM
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5. Birds, probably crows.
The depth and shape doesn't look like gnawing from a mammal,
and if it is only on one side, the outside exposed to bird access,
my best guess is a bird,
especially if this only happens after they turn red.

Mice are color blind, as are most small mammals,
while BRIGHT COLORS are very important to birds....especially RED.
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enuegii Donating Member (624 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Could be crows, though they don't usually stay around here long--
the resident mockingbirds drive them off on sight.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Might be the mockers
They like fruit.
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 03:50 PM
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7. Birds or squirrels (with good taste!) n/t
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SalviaBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 03:52 PM
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8. What about Tomato Hornworms...
I think they bite into the fruit like that.

:shrug:
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enuegii Donating Member (624 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'm always on the lookout for hornworms:
haven't seen any...yet.

I do believe my problem is most likely birds. Guess I'll have to do something about it pretty soon.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. tomato hornworms are hard to see n/t
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. If it only happens when they get really ripe,
pick them just before they get to that point and put them on a windowsill. Better than getting no tomatoes!

And if it were me, that tomato would be used in cooking after I just cut off the damaged part!
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