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  • What animal did this?

    I have not had issues before with animals eating my figs, but this year it's happening. Can anyone tell by looking at the remnants of this fig what creature did the deed? The fig was hollowed out overnight. Also worth noting is that this fig was 4.5 feet off the ground, while several ripe figs on the same tree were hanging one foot off the ground.

    Can anyone tell what sort of animal I'm up against?

    (Please let me know if the photos are visible or not.)

    Attached Files
    Sebastopol, California. Zone 9a
    The best time to plant a fig tree was 80 years ago. The second best time was 50 years ago. Oh well.

  • #2
    I've had birds hollow them out that way.
    7B Southern NJ


    • #3
      Looks like something with hands. I had a rat issue last season and had a lot of figs stolen like that, mostly only younger unripe ones for some reason though. My guess would be rats, squirrels, possum, raccoon or the like.
      // Los Angeles (10b) //
      // Wish List - A real yard with space to grow //


      • #4
        Def bird. The hollowing out of the fig while leaving the skin is classic bird sign.


        • venturabananas
          venturabananas commented
          Editing a comment
          Rats do the same hollowing out, at least with bananas:

        • Alastair
          Alastair commented
          Editing a comment
          But it happened overnight. Must be an owl then. Just kidding.

          I normally think of birds pecking fruit as a daytime thing. I am thinking rodents or any of the midsized omnivore mammals (opossum, skunk, raccoon). A bunch of figs were entirely gone with no trace left. That suggests something with some stomach room (and probably not a rodent). On the other hand, would a raccoon really hollow out a little fig? And I think a raccoon or other biggish animal would have broken branches.

          I want to know what it is because I don't want to break a raccoon's or skunk's hand in a rat trap.

      • #5
        It definitely could be a rat and I have seen them hollow out citrus as seen by this picture. I’ve also seen birds perched sideways holding on to a branch and surgically empty the inside of a fig. I bet it was that bird I pointed out on your kale as I was leaving yesterday 😜 It’s time to start making your own ammunition.
        Attached Files


        • #6
          I've seen posts here on the forum from people who put their Ring camera on a tree, or get some kind of night camera set up so they can see what's going on. Or you might look for animal tracks as clues. If needed, to get good tracks you can surround the tree with soft sand or similar.
          Alan. Los Angeles area. Zone 10b (Sunset zone 24).
          Looking for: Boysenberry Blush, Dolce Calderai, Hative D'Argenteuil, Ondata.


          • #7
            I've had multiple rats do exactly what you've described. I've also had raccoons in my garden, but they've surprisingly left my figs alone. I don't think there's a safe way to address rats without harming larger critters - unless you were use bait stations or physically guard against rats climbing up your trunks (I've done both with great results).
            San Francisco, Zone 10b


            • #8
              I’m on the fence about getting a trail camera. I want to get the culprit on tape!
              FigLife: www.figlife.com
              [email protected]


              • arachyd
                arachyd commented
                Editing a comment
                Sportsmansguide.com has a lot of them. At least 4 or 5 under $100.