Who's eating my melons?

steveinjersey(7)August 4, 2011

Sorry about no picture, but there's really not much left.

I had a melon about 9 inch diameter, thas was almost ripe. It was torn from the stem, and something ate a hole in it about the size of a tennis ball. My first thought was rabbits. So I patched up along the bottom of the fence (6 foot high wood) that surrounds my back yard. There were a couple places where rabbits could get under. So I figured that would do it. I left the melon where it was.

Next morning about half of it was eaten. By the amount eaten and the tooth marks, I know this is a large animal, not mice. Fencing shows no signs of breach, so I know it's not rabbits or deer. This morning the melon is eaten right down to the rind, and one part of the rind is next to a tree, about 40 feet from where I left it last night. No signs of rabbits again.

So I'm thinking Squirrels. But I've never had problems with Squirrels eating melons. Tomatoes yes, sunflowers yes, bird seed (of course) but canteloupe?

Anybody ever hear of that?

Any recommendations on deterrents or effective controls for the tree rats?



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Dan Staley

Coon, opossum, squirrel...


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:25AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:40PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:28PM
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So I've got a very similar problem except I think my animal is a little smaller. I'm fairly certain it's either a rat or a mouse.

The entire area is tarped, so the likelyhood of whatever it is coming up from the ground just isn't very good, and I've already found a rather large mouse laying in the middle of the garden dead (I suspect a hawk or something got it and dropped it).

I also lost a rather large Orangeglo watermelon a few days ago that may have been to the same cause.

My primary question is, if it's rats or mice, how do I stop them?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:01PM
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So it's mice eating my melons, and standard mousetraps seem to be at least somewhat effective in stopping them. I don't even bait the traps - I just place them around the melons. I'm averaging 1-2 mice a day - hopefully that's higher than their reproductive rate. The melons in question are Noir des Carmes and I think it's the strong smell that's attacting them.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 11:16AM
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I also lost a large melon recently. It was moved about 10 feet from it's vine, and all that was left was a portion of the rind.

If the animals can sense the smell given off by a nearly ripe fruit/vegetable, does anyone have any experience in wrapping the melons or tomatoes in a plastic wrap like Saran-wrap ??

Will a plastic wrap trap moisture and cause the melon to rot ?? Will it expand with a growing melon ?? Will it prevent the smell from being sensed by critters ??


    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:23PM
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