Nancy Phillips
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas

Nocturnal Animal VANDALIZING Cantaloupe

I am a new member to the garden forum. This is my second summer garden, and I have had great success growing eggplant, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, herbs, and huge, sweet cantaloupes in Dallas, TX. In the past week, during the peak of the season, I had a couple dozen huge melons ready to pick...

I came outside early yesterday morning, and found one ripe melon, partially hollowed out, left to rot. It was too big for the suspected raccoon to carry away, so he snacked and left. He had also hollowed out a fairly large eggplant, still hanging on the plant. Fairly large teeth marks. :?:

This morning, same thing. Another melon hollowed out, and left to rot. "Shake Away" small critter granules has not worked. My garden is organic, so I don't want to use pesticides.

Will sprinking black and red pepper flakes all over the melons work? How about spraying the melons with Tabasco pepper sauce? Any suggestions are welcome. I am tempted to patrol the garden all night with a shotgun, but it might only scare my neighbors.

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hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Take something like a large azalea pot and turn it over on top of the cantalope or perhaps improvise a cage out of 2x4 weldwire, chicken wire, or some king or small mesh wire. If you don't protect those fruits, IMO you will lose this game.

Gardener Don
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:05 pm
Location: Southern Illinois, zone 5b

The only sure way I have found is a good electric fence. Be sure to get one that is far bigger than what you think you need. Once they get a good shock they will tend to stay away. Good Luck Don

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rootsy
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Posts: 435
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 5:58 pm
Location: Litchfield, Michigan

Live trap w/ marshmallows will let you speak to the raccoon in the morning if that is what is eating the melons. Cheap tins of wet cat food work well for possum, etc.

Disposing of them afterward all depends upon you. Call pest control, animal control or do it yourself. Don't move the animal and release it, in many states this is an illegal activity and well no one else wants your pest either. Be careful handling dead or live raccoons or possum, they can carry a variety of nasty diseases...

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