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Whats eating my strawberry plants whole?

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  • Whats eating my strawberry plants whole?

    Being on lockdown and working from home i have a daily routine where i spend my lunchtime in the garden. Yesterday lunchtime during my lunch I noticed something had chewed all the leaves off one of my small potted strawberry plants (first pic). I inspected the surrounding strawberries and they seemed fine. Today i went over to have a look to find a small row on strawberries in the ground has suffered the same fate (2nd pic). I've never seen any damage like this before, both plants had plenty of flowers and leaves 2 days ago. We have a lot of birds around (Magpies / Pigeons), along with squirrels, mice and the odd rat! I do have a cage humane rat trap so may set that up tonight. Im quite worried as i must have approx 20 more strawberries left to munch! Not sure if its just coincidence but the plants in taller pots are untouched so far, as is any other type of plant.

    Thanks for any help.

    Ben
    Last edited by Ben1030; 22-05-2020, 03:16 PM.

  • #2
    I've never seen anything like that, but based on the fact that the whole leaf has been chewed off, and is now missing, I would suspect rodents of some sort. Birds wouldn't make such a clean job of it, nor would the likes of slugs and snails or caterpillars.

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    • #3
      It maybe worth noting that ive had mice in the compost bin so recently stopped putting any food scraps in there. Maybe they wanted revenge for cutting off their compost bin buffet.

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      • #4
        Definitely not birds - wrong sort of damage - mice or rabbits are among the list of possibles.

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        • #5
          I would think rabbit as well. I noticed some damage like this on a couple of plants earlier on when a small rabbit was about. There was not much else about at the time so it moved on and not seen any more damage since. Mice tend to like eating the strawberries though.

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          • #6
            We've had a muntjac on the allotment site this week (nowhere near open countryside) so keep an open mind on what could be the culprit.

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            • #7
              I had mice damage on my strawberries in the cold frame recently but it was nothing like this. They nibbled the buds didn’t eat leaves or the whole plant. Am thinking rabbit is a good bet.

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              • #8
                A deer had crossed my mind having seen one in next doors garden and the field opposite. Can deers get in a fenced garden? The position of the chewed plants suggests something came in under near the fence. Luckily its not happened since so im going to hope for the best.

                However the mice (i think??) have now started on the strawberries. Pics below are of same strawberry a couple of hours apart.

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                • #9
                  Update - hes now in his new home, in some bushes next to a fishing lake.
                  Attached Files

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