Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Tomatoes' Journey: Pests - Part 13

After a very, very slow beginning, my tomato plants decided to show up this year. Thank goodness! I really thought all that hard work of caring for and raising these little babies from seed was going to end in heartache and devastation.

Over the past two weeks, I started seeing flowers and fruit growing, which means two things: 1) these small green fruit will begin to redden and be ready for picking soon! 2) the pesky rodents will soon be out to eat my delicious, ripened fruit. 

Tomato Eaten by Rodent
There are a few things that have caused issues in the past from this point forward; namely, rodents. The moles, voles, and field mice love to chomp into my tomatoes. They sneak their way through the fencing and take bites out of my reddening tomatoes. I get really irritated when they take one bite out of each red fruit on the vine. Couldn't they just eat one whole tomato and leave the rest alone? If they really needed the food that badly, I'd be happy to sacrifice one tomato for them. But no. They take one bite out of every stinkin' one! 

De-Fence


I don't have a good suggestion to combat these types of pests as I have not had great success in the past. However, here are a few methods you could try if you have pest issues:

  1. Fencing: Our fence is the first line of defense, but obviously, that doesn't always work for us. Somehow they find a way through. 
  2. Traps: I realize this is the least humane route, and you may not be comfortable with this. We leave traps in the tomato beds with peanut butter on it. Those buggers find a way to eat the peanut butter without getting caught in the trap. 
  3. Clothing: A friend recently showed me that she wraps each nearly ripened tomato in cloth (like a rag or a piece of an old t-shirt) to prevent pests from eating the fruit. That seems quite tedious and time intensive, but I may resort to that this year if we have another grocery store for rodents on our hands.
For now, I just wait. Hopefully the rodents find another food buffet to feast from this summer. 

What pests infiltrate your garden? What do you do to prevent pests from eating your tomatoes? 

Check out my other posts on My Tomatoes' Journey.