What Critter is Doing This?

hdcochranJune 27, 2009

I live on the Neuse R. estuary in coastal NC. Some critter is making off with the immature oranges on my small potted tree. Once there were 13 of 1" size or larger. One by one they disappeared overnight until now there are only 7. Suspects include deer, raccoons, squirrels, possums. Any ideas what kind of critter likes immature oranges? Any suggested preventative measures?

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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

My vote is for squirrels. Between them and my my deer, it's amazing I even have a garden. Preventative measures (non-violent, I assume)?...offer them dried corn on the cob and they'll eat their fill there. Then they may leave your oranges alone. Of course, you can always cart the tree inside every night...what a pain! =)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 10:31AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Deer would eat the leaves, a raccoon would knock over the pot, opossums aren't interested, so, probably squirrels.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 3:11PM
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Tammy Kennedy

squirrels are very destructive to immature and mature fruit, in my experience. Another vote for them. As for what you can do- try spraying/sprinkling the bush with hot pepper. You can also cover it with netting- but keep the netting off the bush or they'll gnaw through the net to get to the fruit (i found out the hard way last year). I have read that leaving some exlax out for them in bits in the pot will deter them- they eat the exlax, get sick and associate the pot with getting sick. They have eaten the exlax for me, but it didn't really deter them from coming after the fruit later, so i'd take that one with a grain of salt. Best of luck!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 3:16PM
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mbuckmaster(7B/NC)

I must have jinxed myself by replying to this post, because yesterday morning I saw a squirrel on my potted lime tree, ripping off an immature fruit. Squirrels are playing havoc with my garden this year...they're almost up there with the deer, they're so bad!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:10AM
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