The Q&A Archives: Subterranean pest eating corn seed

Question: Last year, we planted four rows of Early Extra Sweet corn about 60ft. long. Seed was planted about 10in. apart in the row. Of all of this seed, only about four plants emerged! Close inspection revealed that some subterranian animal had gone directly down the rows and had eaten the seeds. The burrow followed the rows from end to end. By now it was late May with still time for maturity so we replanted. Same result! Within a few days, all of the replanted seed was eaten. We were able to harvest only four ears. My questions are: 1. What do you suppose ate the seeds? Moles? Shrews? 2. How can we solve this problem. We have purchased three battery powered mole thumper repellers and will try these. Do you have any other ideas?

Answer: It was probably mice or voles that ate the corn seed, unless you saw birds picking at it. Crows in particular like fresh corn seed. To keep the critters out of your garden this year I'd sprinkle some crushed egg shells in the corn rows next to the seedwhen planting and I'd treat the seed with sulfur to make it less appealing to the animals and also help prevent any rotting to occur. You could also apply moth balls or other animals repellents around the area to make it less appealing to the animals. Chances are this year you won't have the problem due to population shifts in the wild animals from year to year.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"