OMG! What the heck is eating my tomato transplants!
HELP! Something is eating my tomato seedlings by chomping them off at the bottom of the stem and then eating them entirely. At first I thought it was a rabbit, so I set up the second line of defense around the beds (the first line is a fence around the garden that keeps the woodchuck out), by putting a variety of chicken wire and plastic rabbit fencing around the cages. This has always been enough to deter the rabbits before, yet I lost more plants. So, I secured the fences around the cages (I have concrete mesh cages) and sprayed the plants with the putrid garlic/rotten egg deterrent that even works on deer. The next moring, two more plants were gone. I finally resorted to a have-a-heart cage, rabbit size, two days ago. I lost zero plants but caught no animal yesterday. Today, in a differnt bed, I lost another plant, BUT, I found something strange and disturbing.
This time, I found the dead tomato plant, but instead of it being just gone, or like the one I found just lying on the ground, this one was dragged three quarters of the way under the mulch by the stem. It clearly looks like something came up from under the mulch, chewed off the seedling by the stem, and started to drag it back under the way a crocodile drags its victim under the water.
WHAT THE HECK IS DOING THIS, AND HOW DO I STOP IT?