Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stop Eating My Apples!

UGH! Are those flying ants!?? They were all over my garden and on my lawn!

Hundreds of them! Carpenter ants? Oh no! I stepped on as many as I could, but I'm sure I hardly made a dent. Most disturbing, one large batch was within five feet of my back door!

On the other hand, the tomatoes look like they might actually be starting to ripen!

Of course, the ones with the most color have also been eaten by critters already, or have some metabolic damage.

I didn't get too many flowers planted in the veg. garden this year (for beneficial insects), but those I did plant are only just now starting to bloom.

Okay - something is eating my apples. Here's a small pile collected under the Jonagold. There were more the day before - something ran off with them overnight.

But there! Do you see it? It's not just insects - something is taking BITES out of the apples while still in the tree!

Okay, Ellen...calm down. Who could the culprits be? Deer? Bears? Squirrels? Crows?

The bears are certainly out eating the apples, but not in my yard (no damage to the fence since spring).

Deer might be, but they don't have the right kind of teeth to do this kind of damage.

Squirrels? Maybe - I'm sure they are around and they must know when the dog is trapped inside.

Crows? HM. I've seen them fly off with dropped apples from the yard.

Well, all I can do is hope that some of the apples are left alone and ripen enough for me to eat them.

I was all excited last week to see I actually had a northern spy on the spy tree - I didn't think I had any this year. When I took these photos, though, a day or two later, it was gone. GONE!



Woodswoman Extraordinaire said...

I too keep finding apples with tooth marks, still hanging in my tree. I also found some that looked like they'd been speared by a beak. Blue Jays? Crows? I find I haven't a clue what variety of bird would be eating my apples. And were they eating the apples, or eating the worms out of the apples? Hmmm.

Elizabeth said...

Have you found out what was takeing a bite out of your apples? Wayward children playing tricks or animals?

Ellen Rathbone said...

It's not kids - the yard is fenced in. The most likely culprits are birds. Crows are high on the list, but I've also seen some suspicious-looking chickadees in the trees, perched right next to the fruit.

Kathy said...

I have had similar difficulties this year, especially with my Brandywine tomatoes. A guy at Cornell Coopertive Ext. said someone he knows puts a pan of water out which stops the damage. The idea is that it's been a hot, fairly dry summer and the damage is from squirrels looking for water.

I haven't done this, but am thinking about it for next year. Makes sense. Maybe a little pond of some kind.

(Birds wouldn't create gnaw marks, would they? My damage all appears to be from teeth.)