We live in Palos Verdes (suburban Los Angeles) and have some mysterious
animal pulling freshly planted, small tomato plants out of the ground at
night. It is not eating the plants, but for some reason, pulls them out of
the ground and leaves them there.
Being that it is nocturnal, I could guess at an opossum or a raccoon, but I
have no idea why it would pull plants. I thought maybe an opossum looking
for snails, but it keeps returning and pulling out the same plants about
every other night.
We put bird netting over them, but it apparently got under the netting and
pulled them out again last night.
Any ideas of what strange beast we have lurking here at night?
No, strangely enough -- they just look like they were pulled out and left on
the ground. The prints are not clean enough to tell what it is, but they are
quite deep in moist soil, so maybe a large raccoon, but why he would
selectively pull out plants and leave them there stumps me.
Have you had any success with the various deterrent scents (wolf urine,
You might want to consider installing a motion detecting sprinkler in
that area to scare off anything
It might also be your neighbors :-)
Sound like the devily deeds of a squirrel. Maybe doing it at sunrise before
you get up.
They like to pull up newly planted annuals like that. The dummies think they
can find an acorn in the
fresh dirt. I have to check my beds and fix their damage everyday. I use red
or cayenne pepper to detour them.
Sometimes I think they bury the acorns and forget where
they buried them. They see someone digging around, and
then think someone found "their" acorn or is perhaps
burying another acorn "for them".
I've planted some seeds in the past only to find that the
area where I planted the seed ended up dug up. And sure
enough, I glance around and see squirrels watching every
step I take. They're very curious about people digging
holes and they think you're doing something for them.
I ended up placing a couple chopped rose bush branches
around certain areas, as well as some orange tree branches,
(bigger thorns). That seems to stop them from their digging
activities. The small orange tree branches work very too.
They seem to remember things very well and once they
stuck they avoid the area like a plague in the immediate
There should be some sort of track. If not place dirt or
sand so that there will be a track/foot print left. Take a
picture of the print if need be and post a link. You'll get
plenty of opinions :)
Raccoons, Opossum and Squirrels all have distinctive tracks.
Well, he came back again last night -- pulled out the tomato plants and a
bell pepper plant. I saw a muddy paw print and believe it is a raccoon. We
bought the chemical animal deterrent (capsicum pepper-based), and spread it
around, but that did not deter him in the least.
He also took a bath in our swimming pool, while he was at it (the dirty
rat), and muddied it up.
We bought a "scarecrow" motion atctivated water sprayer and put it by the
koi pond (he was trying to catch a koi as well), but probably will need to
buy another one for the garden.
Wish us luck...if it is the racoon I have seen around, he is a big old guy
who "owns" the territory.
If it was a raccoon he probably had to wash up before dinner.
so sorry. Borrow a have-a-heart cage from your local humane society to
catch it and take it in to them. They will take care of it.
If it is a full grown Raccoon they are quite stong/powerful.
You will have to keep this in mind for whatever you try. I
hate to say it, but trapping/relocation or death is about
your only choice :( They can climb any fence and figure out
most any device you try to use to thwart them...
If you go the trapping route, don't just move/make it
somebody else's problem. Most of us already have enough of
our own creatures to deal with ;-)
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