Jerry from Bremerton Wa writes
I have a good crop of strawberries but holes under foliage are blocked with ripe strawberries. There are numerus berries both ripe and not ripe that are severed from plants. The plants are vigorous but are looking like a kid may have picked the fruit, plants a little beet up. Garden is well fenced with 4 ft high hog wire with 2"x3" openings. I think I must have a rat problem but since the darned thigs are very smart I'm not sure how to eradicate them. Is there another creature that may be doing the damage? I have raspberries and blueberries that may also have critters burrowing under them I have put out motomoco for mole control.
There are many kinds of rodents, birds, or other small animals that could be eating a fresh crop of fruit. A mesh or fence opening that is 2” x 3” is large enough for mice, rats, voles, chipmunks, and more to come and go as they please. You may consider denser fencing, or using rodenticide in bait stations around the structure or along fencelines (as long as it is within 100 feet of the house) such as those in our Rodent Baiting Kit. If you are able to inspect more for signs like droppings, then you may be able to determine what is there and use appropriate traps for them. Be sure, also, that you are picking fruit as it is ripe and removing fallen fruit from the ground. You may consider a repellent such as Nature’s Defense Organic Animal Repellent around the edge of the garden, but you may not be able to overcome the habits these animals have already developed.
Answer last updated on: 06/18/2019