Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nibbling, nibbling, like a very large mouse…

Something has eaten the last remaining summer squash plant from our front yard patch.

It’s not a snail or a bug. It is something with teeth. Something light enough not to leave footprints, but big enough that it ate a healthy four-inch summer squash seedling leaves and all, right down to the earth.

Which sounds like a rabbit to me. Which would not be a bit weird because we are surrounded by the varmints out here. What is weird, though, is the utter lack of rabbit by-product, anywhere in the entire patch. Seeing as how they have now eaten four summer squash plants ranging from 4” to 6” in size…which had to take some time and also required them to hop a good forty feet along in the bed…I find that a little bit weird.

And the neighbors probably find it a little bit weird that I was crawling around in my front dirt patch grousing about not being able to find any rabbit poop in it.

My life? Totally awesome. If I’m not scraping cat vomit off my couch or a toweling up puddle of human pee from the bathroom floor in front of the potty that wasn’t quite reached in time, I’m crawling around my garden beds looking for rabbit poop. Don’t you wish you were cool like me?!

Whoever this is has also very carefully eaten just the four squashes…but left a small field of tender young spinach (usually a big rabbit favorite) between them completely alone. Not so much as a single nibble.

Also, forget if I mentioned it, not a single bit of rabbit scat.

Whoever did this nibbling left nothing. Not a paw print, not a single hair, not a pile of poo or a how-do-you-do.

Just summer squash plants nibbled right down to the ground.


Well, if they’re not careful, I’m going to sit up all night to catch them so I can beet them bloody.

With actual beets.

Don’t think I won’t do it…although perhaps threatening to take craptastic pictures like this one of them with my phone would be more painful for them…?


PipneyJane said...

Every year, I've planted out 2-3 zucchini. Every year, only one has survived. The others get eaten. Or have their main stem sheared off by some unknown force. (Last year's plant survived despite losing a large chunk out of its stem when it only had 4 leaves.)

No. I have no idea what is eating them either. My conclusion is that it is a beetle of some sort, since there was no evidence of anything else.

Oh, and the reason I didn't get any purple sprouting broccoli this year? Squirrels. I caught them munching the heads off back in February. Seems our squirrels love them (or were desperate enough after the snows to eat anything, but they seem to have continued the habbit).

- Pam

PS: my word verification is "rophidis". Wonder if that is some sort of rampant aphid?

Moorecat said...

If you place sheets of tin foil around the plants, then sprinkle talcum powder on the foil, you'll get an idea of the size of the wee beastie.

Otherwise, earwigs can eat a surprising amount of greenery...

Steph B said...

That's weird. Is there some sort of critter that exists solely on summer squash? Hmmm....

Science PhD Mom said...

I'm guessing you have an insect culprit. Since it's a seedling it would not be unheard of. Perhaps you have opportunistic insects laying eggs on your plants, and once they hatch they eat it all up.

Pipney Jane is probably suffering from squash vine borers.