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  1. #1
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    Being back in town with no garden, I just take care of the lawn. But my wife wanted some tomatoes and she had a couple of big old flower pots, so I got a big bag of potting soil, a couple of wire cages, and some little Big Boy tomato plants at Lowe's this Spring.

    The first, and second, times I saw tomatoes that had been partially eaten, I sprayed the plants with insecticide, even though we've seen no insects on the plants. But now every time a tomato just starts to turn pink, something eats it. I noticed a tennis ball sized pink tomato yesterday that had been half eaten, and this morning, it's almost entirely gone. I just cannot imagine what is eating them, but since they're in pots, we moved them this morning to a location where we can see them from a window.
    Bird

  2. #2
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    I've had crows eat mine in years past. But they don't usually eat more that a hole out of them before they go on to the next one.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  3. #3
    Silver Member TYMinColton's Avatar
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    2008 TYM T273 w/ FEL - 100 hrs, 1962ish Ford 881D project - hrs unknown

    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    Being back in town with no garden, I just take care of the lawn. But my wife wanted some tomatoes and she had a couple of big old flower pots, so I got a big bag of potting soil, a couple of wire cages, and some little Big Boy tomato plants at Lowe's this Spring.

    The first, and second, times I saw tomatoes that had been partially eaten, I sprayed the plants with insecticide, even though we've seen no insects on the plants. But now every time a tomato just starts to turn pink, something eats it. I noticed a tennis ball sized pink tomato yesterday that had been half eaten, and this morning, it's almost entirely gone. I just cannot imagine what is eating them, but since they're in pots, we moved them this morning to a location where we can see them from a window.
    In the Pacific NW Slugs are a major tomato predator. They generally sneak in at night, eat a half-a-tomato (especially low-hanging fruit), and then disappear into the night. You might be too dry for slugs in TX, but it's a possibility.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    I've had birds damage fruit and vegetables, and as ToadHill said, they usually peck a hole in one, then go to another, whereas, whatever is eating our tomatoes, will eat half of one then come back later to finish that same tomato.

    I've not seen any sign of slugs around here, and all the tomatoes are at least 2 feet or more off the ground (actually the pots are sitting on a concrete drive).

    While I can't be positive, it seems that it's all happening at night, and I've not seen ANY animals in the yard except for a squirrel and he's always on the other side of the house on the live oak tree or on the ground under a birdfeeder hanging from that tree. And of course I've only seen the squirrel in the daytime.
    Bird

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    We were thinking of installing a couple of bat houses, to keep the mosquitoes down. My next door neighbor said that she had considered the same idea but abandoned it because the bats would eat her tomatoes.

    Just passing the info along -- I have not verified whether bats are known tomato-eaters or not, but it's something to think about.

  6. #6
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    Guernsey Co. Ohio
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    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    What does the eaten part look like? Can you make out tooth marks? I’ve had groundhogs eat them before, and I wouldn’t put it past a possum.

  7. #7
    Elite Member KentT's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    Bird,

    If they're down at ground level, a box turtle (or terrapin) will eat them when they start ripening. Won't bother green ones...



    But, you say they're up off the ground. Wonder if an armadillo or possum (thinking night-time critters here) could be knocking them off and eating them...
    Power Trac PT-425 w/numerous attachments
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  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    Bats? That's a possibility I hadn't thought of. None of the tomatoes have been lower than 2' off the concrete. In fact, the tomato that was eaten the last two nights was 32" off the concrete. And I figure whatever ate it had to be very light weight because, even though the tomato was in the middle of the plant, the plant shows no damage. So at least for the time being, bats would seem to be the most likely suspects.
    Bird

  9. #9
    Elite Member wushaw's Avatar
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    Bristol Texas
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    Kubota L2800, 15 hp 372 Mitsubishi

    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    That would be one big bat to be be able to eat that much. It could be several.
    Kubota L2800HST, Mitsubishi 372, bh75, 45" Agric tiller, 5' home made disk, 42" Bush hog, PHD, 66" Cammond BB.

  10. #10
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's Eating Our Tomatoes?`

    Do you trust your neighbor?
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

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