The Q&A Archives: Ripe Tomato Eater.

Question: Something eats big hunks of my nearly ripe tomatoes during the night. I sprinkled crushed egg shells for slugs, snail bait, spread red pepper flakes , sprayed with worm killer and my mixture of jalapeno chili and garlic. What else could I do? could it be an animal like a rat or opossum?

Answer: There are a number of potential culprits - slugs and snails can sneak into the garden at night and munch holes in tomatoes. Usually they leave behind a slime trail so look carefully at the leaves and fruits to see if you can detect a shiny slime trail. If not, the pests could be mice, rats, raccoons, or even bunnies. Sounds as though you've applied some deterrents, but you may also want to place a barrier over your tomato plants. I've draped birdnetting over entire plants to keep deer and raccoons away. I drove three stakes into the ground around each plant and draped the birdnetting over the stakes and plants, anchoring it at the bottom with a few large stones. Hope it works as well for you as it does for me!

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