Peach bandits

I went on vacation this past week with the expectation of coming home and getting to pick my peaches. Came home to find all of our 15 peach trees picked clean. They took everything top to bottom and even cleaned the ground where i am sure a few would have fell over the week. I filed a police report but I am more disheartened than anything. Has anyone else had peaches or other fruit stolen in bulk from their land? More specifically I am in the Charlotte, NC area.

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What a kick in the butt! I’m sorry to hear it.

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I’m very sorry to hear that.

I would look at the base of large trees nearby for pits - you could have had a massive attack of squirrel or other predation. I have continually been surprised at how quickly squirrels can come out of nowhere and strip huge quantities of fruit. Another sign of animals is there may be some limb breakage. I have ten traps in my yard but in one day last week they stripped three trees before I even noticed.

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I’d say it’s more likely rodents than people. Still sucks, I’ve had it happen to me.

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I don’t know your area, but as said above, squirrels are capable of doing this.

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It was definitely professionally done. The apples and other fruit trees have been left untouched and they are mixed in. We have about 70 total trees or bushes. They took every peice of peach fruit and left no pits and no trace. The photo below shows how dense some of the branches has been and every tree is picked clean. I have seen deer come strolling in for a walk but they target the apples.

Just stinks. My wife and I had been looking forward to them all spring.

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Thanks Scott. I’ll keep my eyes out.

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15 peach trees. That would be hundreads of peaches. Probably, human beings stealing them to sell. Somehow they may figure out that you were away.

Maybe, a surveillance camera may be needed. They leave apples and other fruit because they are not yet ready to be picked. They may be back later.

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I would also post a sign that said just sprayed pesticide. Do not consume for 4 weeks.

Tony

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Raccoons can clean a number of trees full of fruit in short order. They usually travel in groups and can detect what’s ripe and what’s not. They will wait until most of the fruit is ripe then strip the tree all at once. I even had them pull a net up (enough to get in) and then strip the fruit.

But, if it were coons, i’d expect to see pits and broken branches. Hard to believe a person would do that…but you are running out of options.

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Whether it was four-legged bandits, or the two-legged kind, I can only imagine such a loss must be devastating. Good luck on finding out what may have caused this and I hope you have better luck next year.

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No, it is unlikely humans would clear the trees- they wouldn’t be that thorough and would leave the small nearly worthless peaches. You can be sure they’e be in a huge hurry while committing a felony. Were they all the same variety and ripening exactly at the same time?

I’ve often had peaches disappear this way on sites I manage and customers always assume it must be human if their are no pits, but squirrels are unpredictable in this regard- sometimes they actually take one peach at a time and keep coming back, but if this is the case there should be quite a pile of pits somewhere not too far from your property. If any of the missing fruit was green it was almost certainly squirrels.

Coons and possums to my knowledge, don’t enjoy fast, to-go food and only dine in sit-down restaurants,usually filling themselves with soft-ripe fruit. .

Sorry about the bad joke, I know how painful it is to lose a crop this way. Up here it is already showing signs of being a bad squirrel and bird year.

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When I first had fruit go missing, I assumed it was people because of the conditions involved. But I later found out it was animals.
I did however have somebody steal some blueberry bushes I had planted. So I set up a fake security camera & sign, which stopped it. I also bought a motion activated trail video camera that can also record in the dark. Those things are awesome, and I still use it for various activities. If you’re in the States, you should be able to get a decent quality one quite cheap now.

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That’s a really good idea. If I need that, I might try that with a more serious warning attached to do not enter the entire area.

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I agree. People don’t usually take rock hard fruit. Neither do coons. That’s squirrels.

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I just killed squirrel number 42 this morning.

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I’m at around a similar number Ray, but I wasn’t counting. I have been getting around two every day on average for the past couple of weeks.

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