I think the raccoons here have some kind of disease. I found a dead one today under my hedge, and the spouse saw one that looked sick the other day
So not good.
A little scary until you know what they are dying from.
If they aren’t coming after you it is probably distemper. Rabies isn’t a big problem in some regions with a large coon population, even where their numbers balloon because of access to human produced food and lack of predators (including human trappers). I know it is relatively rare in CA, but their feces also carries a blinding disease that my sister, a vet, told me about. However, if there was an issue with sick raccoons in my neighborhood, I’d contact the county cooperative extension for information about the cause.
I did that a year or so ago, when a sick one was by my shed, and they said it was distemper
The problems with the feces really concern me, because they’re all over the place
Found my one and only Sun Crisp apple still in the bag with this much damage. I wish I had a gun
Looks like raccoon hands🤢
it looks a lot like bird damage.
Raccoons have big appetites and quaff down apples almost whole and I doubt they use there claws to open fruit. To me it looks like classic bird damage. At least we know they probably aren’t doing it because they are thirsty. The rain is driving me mad. Oh yeah, that’s off topic.
Looks to me like Big Bird visited. Seriously it does look to me like a bird has been pecking on and around the apple. Just curious but was the apple still on the tree when it was discovered?
I have hard time imagining birds doing that damage but I don’t have as much experience about these things as you do.
The apple was on the ground in a ziplocked bag but the bag was seriously damaged with bite marks. Those marks did not look like bird’s bite marks.
Also, the ground where the apple dropped is under thick canopy of 4-5 trees overlapping. Those birds were quite daring to walk under such a condition.
Birds will sometimes peck on the fruit while it is still hanging and it is amazing how much damage can be done before the stem breaks. Once the fruit is down and in thick grass the bird as you said can easily become the pray.
Thanks, everyone for your input. Put birds in the dislike category.
By the way, the bite marks on Asian pears in my first picture was from bunnies. Saw them gnawing in the fruit with my eyes. My guess was squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons or whatever did the initial damage. Then, bunnies put on the finishing touch.
My bagged fruit in the backyard (very little foot traffic) have been stolen. I saw ruined bags on the ground here and there. I blamed squirrels.
Yesterday, I walked to the very of my yard behind my small orchard. I saw several bags in spots and found a big hole. Apparentlt, a groundhog ( or a family of) has moved their residence fr9m my neighbor to my land. They probably think food are more plentiful here.
I estimated that for these past few weeks, I lost about 30+ pears, plums and apples ( from counting bags on the ground) to groundhogs alone. Squirrels, by no means, are not guilt-free, either.
Sorry to see that. I am still trying to trap my groundhog, I saw him a few days ago so he is still around. He doesn’t seem to be going up the trunks I put the tanglefoot wrap on, and I am finally getting a decent harvest off of my peach trees.
Sorry about your fruit loss. Looks like they have been partying at night. Wishing you good luck getting the thieves stopped.
Oh Mam, that is terrible. It looks like you might have a family!!! Can’t you stick a firecracker into their cave and scare them to death? My orchard looked that way every summer, but squirrels were to blame. Ugh. It’s a fight, you or the fruit! Don’t give up!!!
Thank you, Scott, Bill and Mrs. G.
I put a trap with half a head of cabbage in front of the hole. We’ll see.
@scottfsmith, my desire to have my trees branches out low for easy care has backfired!!!. With fruit on those low branches, groundhogs and squirrels do not even need to try hard to reach my fruit.
I will have to figure out how to remedy this going forward.
I think in the areas we live in we have to build tree cages to protect the fruit!