What's causing damage to my ears of corn?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by TonyZ, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. TonyZ

    TonyZ New Seed

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    Hi all,
    Some animal is destroying my corn! They rip the ears right off the stalk and eat them. I'm finding the ears scattered all over my yard! Could this be squirrels?

    What can I do to help prevent this from happening next year?

    Thanks
    Tony
     
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  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Tony, have you seen raccoons in your area? Ripping the ears off and scattering them sounds like a 'coon's action.
    Preventing them from doing more damage may be difficult (the predator has found a source of good food). Playing a radio at night (which the neighbors may not appreciate); adding a motion sensor light (again, point it away from the neighbors' windows!); or spraying the husks with a pepper spray (hot pepper, bit of oil, maybe some crushed garlic) might help. Other than letting your dog roam at night, that's all I can think of.
     
  4. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    Identification would help. Smooth the soil around an area near the corn stalks. When the animal returns its prints will be in the soft soil and make identification easier. There are many sites to identify animal tracks.

    Good luck,

    Jerry
     
  5. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Hi Tony, I have both skunks and raccoons in my corn patch. They are a battle all summer long. Skunks knock the stalk over and shred the husk. It looks like ribbon after they go through the patch. Coons will also damage the corn, but they take the whole ear off the stalk, usually. the other thing they do is try EACH ear!!!!GRRRR!!! Skunks also like grubs from the lawn, look around the patch if you have grass close to see if they are digging them up. If they are it will be little spots just at the roots of the grass, not the soil being excavated, maybe an inch or so in diameter. I have put a radio out, set to a talk show, and left it on all night long. Every night until the corn is harvested.

    I know this sounds gross, but human urine will also repel the skunks. My sister told me this, via her father in law, and it was a tried and true solution. Collect it and pour it around your patch. He did this for under a shed. They left and didn't come back.
     



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  6. Tooty2shoes

    Tooty2shoes Hardy Maple

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    TonyZ: like the others have said it is probably coons. In the past I had tried the radio in the corn patch which didn't work. After awhile they where enjoying the talk radio while munching on my corn. Made me hopping :scheming:. Now when we plant sweet corn we put up two strands of electric fencing. Works great to keep those little brats out of the sweet corn.

    Carolyn ya those little buggers test each cob to see which one is the sweetest. Thus wreaking a whole bunch of other cobs. I wouldn't want to eat corn what has coon spit on it.
    You mentioned about the urine repelling skunks. I have been using "Shake Away" which is granulated fox urine to keep woodchucks away from my barn. I know it say's that it repell's skunks and racoons. You can buy it at Fleet Farm and it works really good.

    :stew1:
     
  7. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Raccoons are always the first to know when the corn is ready! From my own experience, there isn't much you can do other than trap and remove them...or plant extra and share :)
     
  8. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Tooty, My "solution" is much more convenient to obtain LOL. The closest farm store is easily 30 min. drive. I hardly go to them and it usually is a special trip. they aren't on the way to anything/where.
     
  9. Karrma

    Karrma In Flower

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    Just marking our territory. :sete_062:
     
  10. TonyZ

    TonyZ New Seed

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    Thanks to all who replied.

    I will try all these suggestions next year and see
    what happens :-D

    Tony
     
  11. Tooty2shoes

    Tooty2shoes Hardy Maple

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    Carolyn: I guess it would be a lot cheaper. Saves the water from being flushed down the drain also. So far the electric fence works great. I take some joy maybe a little twisted joy in thinking about them walking up to the fence and getting a good jolt. :-D
     
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  12. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    Tony,, we have all been victims of the masked corn thief. This year they only ate a few and left me the rest so I had plenty. But I have friends that had the entire crop demolished. Usually when I see the ears that they start testing on,, I start picking corn.
     
  13. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Tooty, me too, but the skunks really smell when they run into my fence for the chickens. :( And since that is right behind the house, I notice it immediately!
     
  14. Tooty2shoes

    Tooty2shoes Hardy Maple

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    Carolyn: Speaking of skunks. This might sound kind of strange. I guess it sounds really strange but my hubby, my Mom and I all think that skunk spray when you get a mild whiff of it smells like fresh brewed coffee. :eek: I know that is the reaction a lot of people have to that statement. But no really it does. Next time you get a whiff of skunk just think ohhhhh fresh brewed coffee. :D :D
     

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