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Old 08-14-2014, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3,168 posts, read 4,153,023 times
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I have a container garden on my deck. It's on the 2nd level so not many critters have access to it. For about 2 weeks now I have discovered early morning that something is knocking my tomatoes off the vines. It's both red and green tomatoes. It looks as if whatever it is tries to eat the tomatoes but I usually find busted tomatoes with pieces scattered. So whatever it is isn't devouring the fruit.

Back in late spring and early summer I had a pack of mourning doves that was trying to build a nest on my deck but they eventually gave up since the railing was entirely too small. However, since the first of August I've noticed mourning doves back again. Perhaps it's the same birds from before. I think that they are yet again trying to build a nest.

I've read that these birds aren't interested in tomato plants. What could this be? I purchased a white and black plastic snake from the dollar store today hoping that this is discourage whatever it is that's destroying my hard work. Any advice on what else I can do or what may be responsible?
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:20 PM
 
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Could it be fluctuations of weather extremes?
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3,168 posts, read 4,153,023 times
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I thought about that but I don't think it's the weather. Plus whatever the cause is doesn't seem to bother my other container items (squash and bell peppers). I'm in IL if that helps. It truly looks as if something is attempting to eat the tomatoes.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 12,502,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMichele View Post
I thought about that but I don't think it's the weather. Plus whatever the cause is doesn't seem to bother my other container items (squash and bell peppers). I'm in IL if that helps. It truly looks as if something is attempting to eat the tomatoes.
My guess and it is a guess is opossums.

They are very much creatures of habit and will repeat their steps night after night. they might not even be interested in the tomatoes, they just happen to be in a path to goodies.

If possible see if you can Move the tomatoes about 6 feet or so and see if the critters still bother them.

They might not be opossums but what you describe is hollering opossum, in my opinion.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:19 PM
 
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Squirrels are notorious for breaking open tomatoes, sucking out the juice and leaving the rest. I don't know if it works, but some people suggest putting a bowl of water nearby so they have that to drink instead of your tomato juice.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3,168 posts, read 4,153,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
My guess and it is a guess is opossums.

They are very much creatures of habit and will repeat their steps night after night. they might not even be interested in the tomatoes, they just happen to be in a path to goodies.

If possible see if you can Move the tomatoes about 6 feet or so and see if the critters still bother them.

They might not be opossums but what you describe is hollering opossum, in my opinion.
Oh, my.

A neighbor did warn me about using the back entrance to my building because opossums hang out there. I have never encountered one but thanks for this info. Eek, I hope I never disturb one on my deck. I've heard that they aren't friendly.

But yes, this "thing" doesn't even seem to have terrible interest in consuming the tomatoes.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3,168 posts, read 4,153,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
Squirrels are notorious for breaking open tomatoes, sucking out the juice and leaving the rest. I don't know if it works, but some people suggest putting a bowl of water nearby so they have that to drink instead of your tomato juice.
I had a thought that this "thing" may be using the tomatoes as a water source. I'll leave out a bowl of water tonight.

Thanks, everyone!
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 12,502,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMichele View Post
Oh, my.

A neighbor did warn me about using the back entrance to my building because opossums hang out there. I have never encountered one but thanks for this info. Eek, I hope I never disturb one on my deck. I've heard that they aren't friendly.

But yes, this "thing" doesn't even seem to have terrible interest in consuming the tomatoes.
They are very far from being dangerous. They will growl, hiss, show their teeth and act vicious but will avoid any actual attack.


there is no real danger of getting bit. If worse comes to worse they will faint, flop over and look dead.

As long as you don't try to pick it up, it is almost impossible to get bit by one. They will just waddle off on their Merry way if you don't touch them.

For more information see HERE
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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I was so pissed when all (and I mean ALL) my tomatoes were knocked off the plant a few days ago. Anyway, don't throw away the undamaged green ones. I put them in a clear plastic clam box and let them sit against the south window. A few are ripening now. So you may still get to eat some of those.
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