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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '16, 07:30 
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One day good, the next the entire head was gone, then whole leaves and a few midribs left. No signs of insects or rodent dropping? Weird.
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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '16, 18:23 
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Watch your fingers around that bed Chris :lol: I think it's probably a caterpillar, cutworm or an army worm Chris. Check in the media at the base of the plant for cutworms - they usually come out at night climb the stem, do their damage and then hide again during the day. Coming out at night with a flashlight you'll sometimes catch them in the act. Other possibilities, birds and deer. Got a better pic or the chew marks?


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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '16, 20:10 
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I think rats. They chewed off a 1.5" head and remove whole leaves from the stalk. Nothing else is touched. No deer or birds in GH. I'll look at night. What's even more strange is that I have other brocolli outside a few feet away that haven't been touched??


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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '16, 20:13 
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I pulled the 3 in the GH out...see what happens to the ones in the dirt. They take up too much space in the beds and seem to grow bigger in the dirt anyways.


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PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '16, 21:23 
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Sometimes I wonder if we have we created a never ending nightmare of pests.

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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '16, 00:09 
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Odd.
Cutworms normally take the main stem then drag what the cutoff into the soil to consume the whole thing.
Whatever did this took the top, and also nibbled the edges of the lower leaves. Never saw a cutworm do that but it does look like classic caterpillar damage. Maybe they're working in teams!


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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '16, 01:42 
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coachchris wrote:
I think rats


Haven't seen any rat damage around here Chris so I wouldn't recognize it. I know some of the Aussies would be able to though.

Poppa wrote:
Cutworms normally take the main stem then drag what the cutoff into the soil to consume the whole thing


I've had them do the main stem but first the side shoots, not quite as bad as this though and it's done over a period of days. It's also usually on a smaller plant. Here's a web page with a pic of something similar to what I found - It's the second picture here http://secondnaturefarm.com/news.htm


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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '16, 02:09 
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Right. Stems are cut of, not just nibbled along the ribs. Wondering if a mouse? if it were caterpillars, there'd likely be the frass somewhere along the stems.


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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '16, 02:32 
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Poppa wrote:
Stems are cut of, not just nibbled along the ribs


I think there is a bit of both going on and the leaf tips are missing (although this could be from some other critter).

Poppa wrote:
there'd likely be the frass somewhere along the stems.


I'm not sure, with such a drastic pruning, down on the grow bed surface might be the only place you'd find any :dontknow:


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PostPosted: Feb 3rd, '16, 06:40 
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Sounds like rats to me... I had them do that to my broccoli, they also ate out cauliflower heads and peas/beans, and yes also the leaves of broccoli and caulis, never saw any droppings, but managed to see them a few times at night. They were coming in from the fence and the roof of the house.

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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '16, 08:02 
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Setting a trap with Slim Jims later in the week. Slim Jims get them every time.


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PostPosted: Feb 4th, '16, 20:59 
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And gives them a slightly spicy flavor when roasted over a spit. MMMMmmm! Roasted rat!


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