Two years in a row now! What is doing this!


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Hello all!

Last year and now this year, as in overnight, something has pulled up one of my pepper plants that were planted in the ground! I have no clue what it is! No animal tracks, no left over chewed up pieces of the plant! just a small hole from where the plant was uprooted and that's it! I have a 4ft fence around my 20x20 vegetable garden a secured gate, no gaps under the fence as its staked to the ground AND my garden is literally 5ft from the side of my house and not a ways back so I doubt its a deer that would be getting that close to the house, plus we have a dog who is in the yard several times a day.

Any thoughts on what it could be and what to prevent from happening again?

Thanks in adavance!
 
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I use a scarecrow and rubber snakes to a limited degree. The birds get used to them and ignore them after time. Moving them around daily helps somewhat.
 
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Yes that is what I was thinking too! Perhaps a crow or something? I ordered one of those decoy owls with a head that turns in the wind to put in my garden and plan to move it around randomly. Thanks! Any other ideas I am all for too!
 
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I got one of those predator owls i place and have moved it around a few times.. BUT something has taken 3 other pepper plants since then! I am thinking a mole perhaps because the one i found yesterday was still standing up in the ground, yet it had started to wilt and there was a slight disturbance of soil at the base of it and when I examined it more I found that the stem had been "cut" as seen in the attached pic close to the ground and the roots were no where to be found in the soil! That is why I am thinking its a mole or other subterranean pest! I found what looks like to possibly be a mole tunnel leading into my garden, BUT I have not found any within my garden! So I am at a loss of what it could be or what to do!!! Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Dynamite!? LOL!
 

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Moles eat worms, not plant material. When we had them in the garden they just lifted up plants where they pushed the soil up to the surface. They did not remove the roots.
There may well be another American tunneller, like gopher(?) at work though.
 
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Moles eat worms, not plant material. When we had them in the garden they just lifted up plants where they pushed the soil up to the surface. They did not remove the roots.
There may well be another American tunneller, like gopher(?) at work though.
Possibly as there are some spots here in Arkansas where pocket gophers are present, although I have not seen any, but we DO have moles all over the place! My next option is to get an electric fence to put around the parameter of my already in place 4ft high garden fence.. BUT, I will say, we did not start having this issue until our elderly "hospice" cat who used to be outside was brought inside a couple years ago and has no longer been outside patrolling the area... Hmmm...
 
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I had a cutworm problem early in the year with my broccoli. Not sure if cutworms are still a problem this time of year or not. Dig the hole down and you might find it.
 
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I had a cutworm problem early in the year with my broccoli. Not sure if cutworms are still a problem this time of year or not. Dig the hole down and you might find it.
From what I understand, they are most active in spring and early summer.. The plant in the pic is the only one I have recently found like that.. it was still standing straight up where it was planted, but wilting as I mentioned earlier..

Whereas, the other 3 pepper plants were just GONE! Completely vanished, no left over pieces of chewed plant, not majorly disturbed soil, just a small indention in the ground where they were previously planted!

Whatever is doing this doesn't bother any of my other plants, only my pepper plants! And the most recent victims are about 10-12in tall so its not like they are small seedlings. So bizarre and FRUSTRATING! I am thinking about getting another outside cat to prowl around as we did not have this issue until last year when we brought the elderly cat in when we had a really cold and harsh winter.
 
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Night life camera?
I do have a game trail I can set up out there to see what is going on.
Yesterday evening I installed a solar powered motion sensing security light at the edge of my garden.

But it was so late in the evening there was not enough hours of daylight left to charge the battery so I doubt it would have turned on last night had it sensed anything in the garden.

I think I have some bird netting I can set up over the row of pepper plants to see if this thwarts any above attacks, etc.

Thanks!
 
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If you can't find your netting I find that a couple of stakes each end and a stretched thread or two works well. They touch a wing as they come in and it spooks them.
 
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So I placed the netting and for about a week and a half the pepper plants were safe! BUT as I was out yesterday evening for my daily garden tour I noticed yet again something had seemingly cut off a pepper plant right at the base where the plant goes into the soil and left it just laying on the ground?! Nothing else was disturbed! No sign of entry through or under the netting! So could it be a mole?? I ask because I have found a couple of mole tunnels around the yard near my garden. Will a mole munch a plant like that? I’ve put up two electronic mole repellent devices about a week ago however. So I’m just not sure anymore?! So frustrating to see a healthy plant cut down like that!! Ugh!!

On a side note, can a pepper plant that’s been cut off at the stem be put into water until roots grow out of the stem and then replanted? Thanks!
 
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Moles eat worms. Nothing much else. If they do anything to plants it is generally underground, digging through the roots. We had a lot of mole problems in our last garden and have to say that we never found a plant damaged above ground by them.
Wish I could help, but no ideas,sorry.
Yes the stem could be taken as a cutting.
 
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Moles eat worms. Nothing much else. If they do anything to plants it is generally underground, digging through the roots. We had a lot of mole problems in our last garden and have to say that we never found a plant damaged above ground by them.
Wish I could help, but no ideas,sorry.
Yes the stem could be taken as a cutting.
Thanks! Well both pepper plants were actually cut right at the roots now that I’ve looked at it more. Not really above the ground by the looks of it so I guess it could be a mole?
 
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Provided that what Americans call a mole and what we call a mole is the same animal , no , not a mole. That you have found mole tunnels elsewhere doesn't seem important, they are carnivores, and if there is no tunnel at the plant it could equally be any rodent. I don't know what ones you have there, but some will be carnivores, some omnivores, some vegi, those same ecological gaps get filled everywhere.
Again, I don't know what species you have, but from the description of the damage I would think some sort of cut worm , a larva that travels in the soil just below the surface, would be the most likely explanation, but it must be getting hungry if you haven't noticed it anywhere else :)
Nasty neighbour?
Bloody kids with their ball?
Dunno, sorry.

How about opening a can both ends with a tin opener and sliding it down over the plant, then 'Screwing' it down into the soil a bit? Not so much you cut the roots yourself :)
I sometimes use large plastic bottles with the base cut off in the same way to protect young plants in early Spring. If the ground is friable it will go in 1/2" and hold fairly well.
 

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