Predator at Night

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by JoseLopez, Feb 15, 2013.

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  1. JoseLopez

    JoseLopez Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    031.jpg 048.jpg 047.jpg 045.jpg 044.jpg 043.jpg 035.jpg 033.jpg 032.jpg 050.jpg About a week ago, I went out to my yard and i noticed that one of my bigger crotons looked taller. When i got up close, i noticed that alot of leaves had been eaten. I started walking around the yard and saw that alot of my other crotons had been chewed on. I thought that it could of been a rat or some sort of grasshooper. I purchased Malathion and applied it last night. When i got up this morning, i saw that some of my other crotons had been eaten on like Joe Friday, The Clown , and a hybrid that was very important to me.I reapplied Malathion today, Im very worried and i would like to know if somebody has had the same experience or can help indentify the problem.
     
  2. palmisland

    palmisland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,258
    Location:
    West Boca Raton 10b
    Try looking around at night with a flashlight. You might see the culprit.
     
  3. Native son

    Native son Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    873
    Location:
    10a
    Jose I had I iguana problem it was a small guy eating all day long until he grew and I caught he at is dirty work and introduced him to 1850 ft per second pellet gun. No more unexplained nibbling. (Sorry to the lizard lovers but there will be no leaf eating on my watch)
     
  4. Perry Edge

    Perry Edge Active Member

    Messages:
    126
    I had something nibbling on the new growth on my crotons years ago; it was diagnosed as roof rats by an urban forester. It's hard to control rats; you could try snap traps first to see if you do have a rat problem at all; if so, you could also try baited traps; I got mine from the City oF St. Petersburg. After several years the problem went away, but I know I still have rats (as well as possums) on the property. Go figure...
     
  5. Jerry Shilling

    Jerry Shilling Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Summerland Key, FL zone 11
    Any chance it could be snails? It seems I saw an article a while back on a non-native snail that was huge...5 or 6 inches long.
     
  6. JoseLopez

    JoseLopez Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    004.jpg 003.jpg 002.jpg 005.jpg 006.jpg 007.jpg
    Thank you for giving me your thoughts and opinions on what the problem could be. Today the problem was the same as yesterday and finding other crotons that have been eaten. I have put some pictures of what i think are rat droppings, i picked up some of the droppings ( picture# 4) and took them to a place called Clinica De Las Plantas which they have a microscope where they analyzed these types of things, unfortunately this could not identified. I will be taking leaves and droppings to the Agricultural Department to see if they can help. i observed that i had rat droppings that were almost black and the other was green, what im thinking is that the green one is from the leaves they have eaten. Today i decided to put rat poison in the pots where they have been eating the leaves. Thanks again.
     
  7. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Jose - I think your plants may be getting fed on by catepillars. The poop looks like catepillar droppings. At first I could not rule out snails. I've had snails munch my crotons but never catepillars. I don't know what snail poop looks like but those "droppings" look like they came from a pack of well fed catepillars. I don't believe you are in the area where the Giant African Snails are lurking.

    The catepillars are probably tucked up under some large leaves and come out to feed at night while their predators sleep.
     
  8. palmisland

    palmisland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,258
    Location:
    West Boca Raton 10b
    I was thinking caterpillars also. :mad: Let us know when you get the poop on your poop from the lab.
     
  9. JoseLopez

    JoseLopez Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Randy and Ron, thank you for your input on my problem. Since i put rat poison a couple days ago i have not found anymore leaves that have been eaten. Its hard for me to believe that rats would cause damage being desperate for food. I did not find any caterpillar or snails in the garden. Im expecting that the problem is over.
     
  10. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,644
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    jose - Do you have iguanas in your area? I recall Jesse D. complaining about iguanas eating crotons near his house llby what used to be a swimming pool. If fruit rats were the problem, we'd all have problems since the little buggers are everywhere and are nocturnal. If you have no further dmage, I suspect the smell of the malathion and the rat poison were enough to deter or kill the iguana(s). Anyone know the difference between iguana turds and rat turds? or whatever is in the last set of pics? Not much info on-line...
     
  11. JoseLopez

    JoseLopez Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    No Phil, I don't see any iguanas around here. I found a dead baby rat near the crotons, so I think that there is a rat infestation around the house.
     
  12. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    The fruit rats are a problem in the Moose Land. They dine mostly on the avocados and mangoes - then switch to palm seeds when the fruit is not available. Never observed them dining on any of my crotons - thank God. My experience is that they stay aloft in the canopy. Perhaps that is a result of the neighborhood cats that love to roam in my garden? :confused:
     
  13. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Jim Glock has an Iguana farm in the Keys. They love crotons according to Jim. :eek:
     

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