Tomato Mystery Pest

BridgetteOJuly 17, 2014

Has anyone ever experienced a pest like this ripping holes in the sides of your tomatoes? I'm thinking maybe birds, but I've never had this happen before. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Whatever it is only targets the more red instead of green ones.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Looks like bird, rat or squirrel.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:09PM
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hoosier40 6a Southern IN

Yep, birds. Either pick them at first blush and ripen them indoors or hang something that will move around in the breeze above them like pie pans, ribbon, plastic bags like Wal-Mart or supermarket bags. I always have that damage on the first few to ripen and then I put up countermeasures. Either the countermeasures work or they just decide they don't like tomatoes. :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:13PM
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goodground(z6 NJ)

I get the same damage just about every year when they turn red. I always thought it was the squirrels. Whatever it is, they stop (without countermeasure) after sampling the first 4 or 5.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:31PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I think the birds can make that kind of pattern

Leave them water dishes near the plants. They are thirsty, not hungry.

Second option: Pick the maters at color break, take them inside and let them ripen on the counter

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:51PM
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I vote bird...same markings my chickens made on my butternut squash.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:52AM
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can be distracted by shiny objects blowing in the wind or a pellet gun

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:36AM
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My vote goes with birds as well. I am an expert on squirrel damage! They are absolute terrors. I would never have believed that a squirrel could "pick" a beautiful 12 Oz. Carbon tomato and run with it in his mouth. But I saw it! I was right after him. They are not cute!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:18PM
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Had this problem last year. I thought at first it was a squirrel until one morning I caught a glimpse of a grey bird pecking my ripe tomato. Looked like he was after the seeds inside, so he will make a hole in one tomato, gets the seeds and move on to the next⦠So frustrating.

This post was edited by green_go on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 20:33

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:32PM
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