Ask a Question forum: Critter tunneling into my greenhouse

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 29, 2016 7:56 PM CST
Any guesses about what would be doing this? (I don't know why anything would bother at this point, since the doors to my GH have been wide open for months...)

inside the GH
Thumb of 2016-08-30/Weedwhacker/c60684

"critter poo" inside the GH (maximum dimension of the pile is about 2-1/2 inches)
Thumb of 2016-08-30/Weedwhacker/dcbb45

about a foot away from the base of the GH; the hole is maybe 2 inches diameter maximum
Thumb of 2016-08-30/Weedwhacker/7363e6

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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Aug 29, 2016 8:39 PM CST
Its not squirrels, rats, gophers or rabbits. Hmmm... Groundhogs? Prairie Dogs? Weasels? Badgers? The droppings would suggest (to me) something that eats some meat. Don't ask me how I arrived there.

Might be time to invest in a Critter Cam. I have one. It is amazing what walks through my yard in the middle of the night. The only thing I've had in my greenhouse was a raccoon and he came in through a window.
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Aug 29, 2016 8:47 PM CST
The pile looks like coon excretia. Green Grin! However, the holes like like groundhogs. I've not seen groundhog "leavings", so I can't be any more help than that. Maybe they are in cahoots. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Aug 29, 2016 8:49 PM CST
I wonder if it could be a Raccoon? Or maybe a Skunk?

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/identify_burrows....
http://icwdm.org/inspection/GroundHoles.aspx
http://www.biokids.umich.edu/guides/tracks_and_sign/leavebeh...
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 29, 2016 8:54 PM CST
I think the tunnel hole is WAY too small for a groundhog, prairie dog or badger. (never mind that we don't have prairie dogs or badgers here.) We do have a skunk hanging around and digging up the yard, but the hole is also way too small for that. Weasel -- possibly, but we've never seen one here (since 1990). A friend suggested a chipmunk, which we do have also hanging around of late, but it seems like an awful lot of sand dug up for a little chipmunk. ??? And -- DH stuck a rock in the tunnel entrance this afternoon, and whatever it was re-did the tunnel a short time later (in broad daylight).

Also, I did find a pile of "poo" out by my flower garden that I attributed to the skunk, which was very similar to the pile in the GH. Conceivably the poo and the tunnel are unrelated, but...
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 29, 2016 8:58 PM CST
Thanks, Lin -- but picture a skunk or a raccoon fitting through a hole about as big as a half dollar... I don't think so. (LOL, the skunk is a whole different issue lately...)

Ah, the joys of living in the forest! Rolling on the floor laughing
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Aug 29, 2016 9:39 PM CST
Looks like racoon or fox poop. Do neighbors keep chickens? Maybe they thought greenhouse reminded them of a chicken coop? May your week be full of joy!

Another thought-- Do you use or store any fish product or blood meal in the greenhouse?
[Last edited by Altheabyanothername - Aug 29, 2016 10:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2016 6:29 AM CST
Weedwacker - I had a chipmunk trying to tunnel into my little GH early last spring when the GH was still closed up for winter. I have a lot of chipmunks here with several den sites. The critter didn't quite make it through the gravel floor inside. I set a brick over the entrance hole on the outside and a full water jug on the floor on the inside. Of course, once I open the GH in the spring, the chipmunks are in and out of there every day. Could the pile of excreta be from a different animal? I am going to try sprinkling some Rat Magic (a rodent repellent) around the GH to see if that keeps them from digging.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Aug 30, 2016 7:13 AM CST
I agree that the poop pile seems inconsistent in size with the tunnel diameter.
Porkpal
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2016 7:21 AM CST
I have read that raccoons generally use 'latrines" - using one specific area. Have never seen it in "real life" but then I've never gone searching for it either. And we have lots of raccoons. Humans have to be very careful around such raccoon droppings because of possible significant illness.
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Aug 30, 2016 7:26 AM CST
I went back and looked at the hole in the yard pic..............that is skunks.............about this time every year I have little holes like that in my yard. I was told it was skunks digging for grubs. Sing this to the tune of "Wheels on the Bus".............."The skunks in my yard go dig, dig, dig................" Rolling on the floor laughing

I have a few little divots in my yard I noticed in the last couple of weeks. I never see (or smell) them, so they must not be bothered by anything when they are there doing their foraging.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 30, 2016 7:31 AM CST
Thanks for all the suggestions of possible culprits! If I ever figure out for sure what it is I'll post an update ...

I'm also considering the idea that my own can might have left the feces in there -- he's not very good about covering things up even in his own litter box Rolling my eyes. . I think the chipmunk is most likely to be responsible for the tunnel, probably just making arrangements for his winter shelter Smiling
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Aug 30, 2016 7:34 AM CST
AnnaZ said:I went back and looked at the hole in the yard pic..............that is skunks.............about this time every year I have little holes like that in my yard. I was told it was skunks digging for grubs. Sing this to the tune of "Wheels on the Bus".............."The skunks in my yard go dig, dig, dig................" Rolling on the floor laughing

I have a few little divots in my yard I noticed in the last couple of weeks. I never see (or smell) them, so they must not be bothered by anything when they are there doing their foraging.


Anna, we do have a LOT of the types of holes you are talking about -- a skunk has been digging for the past couple of weeks and our yard looks like it's been plowed; but this one is a tunnel going from outside the greenhouse to the inside, way too small for a skunk to be going through. Hard to tell the size from the photo, I should have put something by it for reference! Smiling

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Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Aug 30, 2016 7:38 AM CST
I can attest to the "coon latrine". We found a ginormous pile along the side of the house this spring. I don't have need to go looking along the house foundation for anything. Gag! It was a big scoop shovel full. I dumped some undiluted bleach on the area and it seemed to deter them...............so far. I'm not under the delusion that it is a long-term deterrent. *sigh*.............I HATE raccoons...............filthy, disgusting creatures.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Aug 30, 2016 7:40 AM CST
Yuck!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2016 9:18 AM CST
Next door neighbor used to feed the raccoons. Once counted 13 in his backyard at one time. Since he's stopped feeding them, the numbers have dropped to more "natural" numbers. Be careful about dogs and children around raccoon droppings. Coon dog fever in dogs (treatable)and humans can also contract a form of the disease (untreatable).
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Aug 30, 2016 11:08 AM CST
That's even worse than people feeding the seagulls at McDonald's ! Sticking tongue out
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2016 1:31 PM CST
Hilarious! My neighbor's idea of food for raccoons - white bread and heavily sugared cereal.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 30, 2016 4:35 PM CST
They may all die of malnutrition.
Porkpal
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2016 4:49 PM CST
Yeah - that's what I was hoping but, lucky for the raccoons, he stopped feeding them after we complained several times. They were sauntering through our yard, regardless of kids playing outdoors, in the middle of the afternoon.

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