My tomatoes are pruned to generally one stem and tied up to help locate bugs and harvest the tomatoes. Early in the season I had a couple dozen hornworms, but they are down to almost nothing. A few little black worms and a few stink bugs. But nothing major. Maybe 2 horn worms a week now and maybe 3 or 4 stink bugs. That's on about 40 tomato plants.
However, something is eating a quarter size to half dollar size bites out of most of my tomatoes. Happening to the neighbor too. I've seen hornworms eat tomatoes and it's not the same pattern and there aren't any hornworms. The garden is double fenced with metal fencing then fine mesh bird netting around the perimeter as well. So it's not a rabbit. It's not birds because they don't make perfect bites that size.
Any other ideas?
There are a lot of field mice. Will they only eat the tomatoes on the bottom or are they going to start going up the plant as the tomatoes ripen up top? If I put out cracked corn or peanuts will they eat that instead?
For a long while I thought it was the squirrels that were eating my tomatoes in the manner that the OP described. Then, the other day, as I approached the garden, three crows flew up from beside the tomato bed. On the ground was a green tomato, about 70% hollowed out. I've found semi-ripe ones this way too. Generally, it's the lowest tomatoes on the plant that are damaged, the ones they can easily get to from the ground. They may like the taste, but I suspect it's the water content they're after, since they go after the Brandywines first. Yesterday I wrapped the sides and as much of the top of the bed as I could manage with bird netting. If it's squirrels, I assume they will chew through it. But if it's crows, that should stop them.
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