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Garden Pests

Just as my sweetcorn was ripe something devasted the crop breaking down most of the crop and eating the corn. There were two further visits and similar results. Since then, it/they have taken to digging up my potatoes and eating them. Any ideas what is doing the damage and how I could prevent it next year?


  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    Does the area look as if a bulldozer has been in or is the damage quite neat and tidy?

    Are there broken, chewed up stalks or bits of uneaten, chomped potato lying around or are they just nibbled and holey?

    i.e. does it look like a large or a small thing wot has done the damage?

  • Almost certainly squirrels for the sweetcorn, James, but I'm not sure they go for potatoes.  Could that be badgers?  Neither can be easily controlled unfortunately.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    The RHS at Wisley put electric fence around the sweetcorn to deter the badgers.  I think that is your culprit.

  • Thanks for the replies.

    Waterbutts - It did look almost bulldozed. The stalks were flattened the corn eaten with one or two semi-eaten further up the garden. My garden has 3' chainlink fencing except for the end - that backs on to a school playing field and had 5' iron railings about 6" apart now hidden by a laurel hedge. One or two potatoes are well nibbled others just left above ground. It also nibbled with a single tomato but hasn't bothered with them since. I didn't mention all 7 of next doors chickens were killed - 3 were found buried in the garden. We have seen foxes in the area but would they eat sweetcorn and potatoes?

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    It might be two different things doing two different things. Bulldozed veg sounds like a badger (protected species unless your name is defra).

    Buried chicken carcasses sounds more like a fox (not a protected species).

    Were the chickens fenced in during the day and locked up at night? If not, the next door neighbours are nitwits if they knew that foxes were around.

  • The chickens are in a large run at night but the latch was left off accidently.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    Oh dear.

  • Maybe a fox was burying (or retrieving) a dead chicken and came upon the spuds by accident?  They are omnivores so might have had a chew on the spuds before rejecting them.  This is where one of those automatic wildlife cameras would come in handy!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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