What's eating my black eyed peas?

veetaSeptember 4, 2013

I returned from a week away to find that my black eye pea crop was being decimated. The plants look perfect except for the peas being eaten from the pod, with some shriveling. They are on a trellis, so too high for rabbits (who seem to prefer the green plant parts anyway). They look too "neat" for birds to be eating them. I would think birds would pull the whole thing down, not adeptly balance on a string of the trellis.
I have killed half a dozen stink bugs (I think brown marmorated)--could they have eaten the beans? Or is something I am not seeing laying its eggs in the beans? Any ideas?
In addition to hand picking any further stink bugs, there are numerous lady bugs, wasps, and even some assassin bugs in the vicinity, so that's hopeful.

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hementia8(8 MS)

I have trouble with Cardinals,turkeys and quail stripping the peas from their shell
Cardinals are the main culprit when they are still green
Charlie

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 2:44PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"The plants look perfect except for the peas being eaten from the pod, with some shriveling."

Do you mean that the pods have been opened, and the seeds removed? Was the pod chewed open?

Voles are a frequent culprit here, they will harvest the seeds of legumes as they begin to ripen. For the most part, they prefer to harvest seeds close to the ground, often pulling plants down; but they can climb as well. Last year they climbed the trellis to harvest seeds from my yardlongs... they must have been hanging from the pods as they did so. I put a few rat traps out, which put an end to their pilfering.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 3:00AM
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veeta

I definitely have voles in my yard--and I have seen a chipmunk a couple times. argh!
They are just doing it so cleanly--bean removed, pod left hanging intact, that I could not determine the culprit, and I wondered if the wasps were after something I could not see.
There is no point in trapping--they have so much territory in my neighbors wild yard. Maybe a bird net will hamper them--at least slow them down.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:21AM
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hementia8(8 MS)

It is definatly cardinals here
Only the upper peas are stripped
I have a lot of voles that destroy plants and sometimes chew on peas,,shell and all
They tend to like poles and fence lines and we find many of their quarter sized holes when cleaning up
We have used Decon and Juicy Fruit gum without making a dent in their population
Charlie

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 7:47PM
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veeta

I wrapped the entire trellis in taut bird netting last week, and so far so good!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:42PM
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