What's eating my beans

I am growing two beds of dry beans. A few varieties which seem to do well in our climate. While this will likely seem late to many of you, for our climate they have just come out of the ground over the last few weeks.

Problem is, something has been eating the young bean plants. Usually chomping off the first true leaves and sometimes the seed halves too. Occasionally they pull the entire young plant and eat it all.

I am trying to figure out what is doing this. I see crows sometimes in the rows, but they seem more interested in digging under the mulch for worms, but perhaps only after they have had their fill of bean sprouts.

Any ideas on who is doing this, and how to deter them?


You are going to have to look hard to find out what it is.
I have had everything clip off new starts.
Robins, Rabbits, deer ,squirrel…

Sounds like rabbits to me. That’s what I saw until I put 1" chicken wire around the bed. When the grass gets mowed and there is less white clover around, they head for the beans.

Not late here. It’s the best crop to put in after spring crops are pulled (potatoes, kohlrabi, onions, etc.)

It could even be an insect. Cutworms have taken out some of my new sprouts at times.

Crows will pull corn when it first sprouts, I think they would pull beans as well

I’m sure it’s not what’s happening to you, but I lost half my snap peas to a single big pine vole that just seemed to be chewing the base of the vines to get water. .I trapped it out. Usually it is rabbits that do this, but the pace was way too slow for it to be that. There is a lot of unusual marauding going on here in the NEast this season. Something ate all my neighbors egg plants and that’s something you don’t generally have to protect from anything.

Especially me!

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@Steve333 I am sure Daemon is right and there are lots of things that it could be, but I actually caught rabbits in the act of eating the tops off my new sprouted beans about a weeks ago. Darn things ate like a half a row. It was war.

I don’t want to start any kind of feud here and I respect everyone’s decision about how to deal with garden pests. But your post is so timely that I just have to tell you that no less than 3 hours ago I found .22 ways to deal with a rabbit that was sitting in the edge of my garden and eyeballing my beans and other plants. Those who don’t know what those .22 ways are probably wouldn’t approve so I’ll leave it at that. :slight_smile:


The nice thing about rabbits is they don’t jump very high or climb. I already had a deer fence around my veg garden and simply added 3’ tall chicken wire buried a few inches and the rabbits can’t get in. I don’t find them so easy to eradicate as they do most damage at night. I can’t seem to shoot enough of them to eliminate them, but my wife just saw a very large bob-cat on our land(she thinks it might have been a mountain lion, which is extremely unlikely here). They are pretty well equipped to deal with rabbits.

In winter we wrap about 3’ of plastic spiral around many of my fruit trees, which is extremely time consuming as there are about 250 trees we wrap and unwrap when rabbits are in the mix.

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Just curious, Alan, why do you unwrap the trees. Lots of people (not me) leave those plastic wraps on all the time. DO you feel it damages trees, harbors insects, or what?

Harbors borers and just makes the bark kindof punky. It also sometimes girdles.