Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

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Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby StokeySue » October 9th, 2017, 12:32 pm

I have no idea what this is, does anyone have any good ides?

At first I though the issue was mice, nibbling chunks out of tomatoes. I undoubtedly did have a visit form a mouse a few weeks back, but I've been vigilant and I'm pretty sure there are no mice, rats or cockroaches currently active in my kitchen, I checked around by wiping the surfaces with a clean white cloth dampened with Dettol spray, I found a few coffee grounds, a few grains of rice but not a trace of a rodent dropping

Here's what has happened

    During the hot and humid weather I was puzzled that my tomatoes went off, overnight
    Finally I left a few slightly unripe tomatoes in the kitchen fruit bowl, and saw that something had removed a patch of skin about the size of a £2 coin, and a little bit of the underlying flesh
    I could find no trace of the missing skin or flesh, so I guessed something had eaten it and it had left with them
    I went on mouse patrol, but thinking about it, a mouse would chomp into the sweet flesh I think?
    Having left the kitchen as close as possible to sterile while I went away, and seeing no signs of vermin a week after I came back I started using the fruit bowl again
    On Saturday night The Tomato Thing attacked one tomato and one yellow pepper
    So on Sunday I cleaned the bowl, and left out a very firm tomato as bait
    Something took out a £2 coin sized patch, again no trace of vermin or debris in and around the bowl (which is glazed ceramic, so not hiding anything)
    I'm confused

What is causing this, and what can I do?

Here's the latest victim, not all that clear, all that's missing is a patch of skin, and a thin layer of the underlying flesh, the edges of the lesaion are quite neat, a little bit uneven but not ragged. I think i's the lack of debris that's doing my head in
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby PurpleLuv » October 9th, 2017, 12:44 pm

Put some flour on the work surface & see what the tracks look like, maybe a rouge slug?
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby StokeySue » October 9th, 2017, 12:52 pm

PurpleLuv wrote:Put some flour on the work surface & see what the tracks look like, maybe a rouge slug?


As my surfaces are slate coloured, I think I'd see the tracks of anything like a slug or snail, but the flour is a good idea
I agree that the lesion is more like something a slug might do than a rodent, would explain the lack of tooth marks
I was thinking of sticky insect paper as well, see if it is anything that flies

Perhaps I just have a fruitarian vampire
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby Herbidacious » October 9th, 2017, 1:09 pm

You need to borrow my trail camera :)
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby liketocook » October 9th, 2017, 1:32 pm

My first thought was a slug or snail as looks like kind of sucky bite. A toothless mouse? :lol: Flour's a great idea, I'd also run my hand round any lips or edges of the worktop or any chairs/stools as a snail may be hiding there during the day.
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby StokeySue » October 9th, 2017, 1:44 pm

Because I suspected mice I have been cleaning the joints around the counter with Dettol spray every night, and remember - I'm in a first floor flat, so I kind of wonder where they are coming from, as I don't seem to have a problem on my pots outside the kitchen door. The tomatoes are washed before they go into th ebowl, and the bowl has of course ben washed up repeatedly while dealing with this
If it's a mollusc finding it my be difficult, I might need to get some eco pellets and put them in corners

Ooh - perhaps I should try a beer trap?
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby Ratatouille » October 9th, 2017, 1:55 pm

How about a winged snail? You may have discovered a new species. If you leave a beer trap you may have an intoxicated flying snail of course.
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby liketocook » October 9th, 2017, 2:01 pm

I think it's scary where mollusc get to, my son used to live in a third floor flat and they kept getting them in the shower room/ loo, they could only be coming in through the pipes or along side them or the extractor.

ETA - should have said it was an internal room with no window
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby icelesley » October 9th, 2017, 2:11 pm

It might be a spider daft as it sounds. :scared:
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby nursemimi » October 9th, 2017, 2:12 pm

I think I am right in saying you have a cat? They have a very rough tongue could she be licking the tomatoes at night?
Just a thought my cats do some weird things.

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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby suffolk » October 9th, 2017, 2:12 pm

My first suspicion is a slug ... check plant pots (especially under rims), gaps around pipework entering and leaving the kitchen, gap under doors windows etc ... a layer of salt in suspect areas may reveal or at least repel invadors!
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby suffolk » October 9th, 2017, 2:14 pm

nursemimi wrote:I think I am right in saying you have a cat? They have a very rough tongue could she be licking the tomatoes at night?
Just a thought my cats do some weird things.


Sue's puss cat passed away.
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby KC2 » October 9th, 2017, 4:48 pm

Weird!
Reminds me of a time many years ago when I stored some quite large Lidl chocolate santas in a box under the stairs to the loft extension. When I wanted to put them in the boys' Christmas stockings, I discovered that something (presumably a mouse) had managed to eat the chocolate under the foil wrap without appearing to displace/ eat through it - ie it still looked like a perfect chocolate santa but there were bits of no chocolate under the still perfectly formed foil wrap ...
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby Seatallan » October 9th, 2017, 4:55 pm

I think you have Borrowers under the floorboards. :D
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby earthmaiden » October 9th, 2017, 5:32 pm

Ratatouille wrote:How about a winged snail? You may have discovered a new species. If you leave a beer trap you may have an intoxicated flying snail of course.

liketocook wrote: A toothless mouse? :lol:


By the time Halloween comes Sue won't dare get out of bed in the morning :lol: :lol:
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby liketocook » October 9th, 2017, 6:34 pm

earthmaiden wrote:
Ratatouille wrote:How about a winged snail? You may have discovered a new species. If you leave a beer trap you may have an intoxicated flying snail of course.

liketocook wrote: A toothless mouse? :lol:


By the time Halloween comes Sue won't dare get out of bed in the morning :lol: :lol:

Sorry :oops: :oops: but I couldn't help myself :oops: :oops:
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby Pepper Pig » October 9th, 2017, 7:04 pm

Are you sure you’re not a sleepwalker Sue? :o :lol:
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 9th, 2017, 7:16 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:Are you sure you’re not a sleepwalker Sue? :o :lol:


I was just going to say the same thing. :lol: That's something I have been known to do. :lol:
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby Grasshopper » October 9th, 2017, 7:31 pm

It wasn't me! :scared:

And Ice - all our spider species are carnivores - they wouldn't go near a tomato or a pepper.

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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby StokeySue » October 9th, 2017, 9:33 pm

If I were eating them in my sleep I think I'd take a proper bite, not lick it or scratch it with a nail file
I think :rolleyes:
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby suffolk » October 9th, 2017, 9:54 pm

You might have been dreaming you were a slug ? ;)
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 9th, 2017, 10:17 pm

This is like a Who-dunnit (or Food-dunnit) :lol:

I love that you call it The Tomato Thing and that you have laid out bait. I can't wait for this mystery to be solved.

Can you put the tomatoes in a different place in your flat to see if it still happens? Could narrow it down, maybe?
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby mum-at-the-oven » October 10th, 2017, 12:12 am

I am really intrigued about this! I leave garden tomatoes on the kitchen counter to ripen off at this time of the year and got those annoying tiny fruit flies this year - however they didn't cause any damage and would probably be too small to anyway!

Whilst growing in the garden we had one or two tomatoes that had been "attacked" probably by slugs but they left definite holes.

I have never heard of tomato skins being neatly removed especially since the skin is the toughest part, without the flesh being eaten once entry has been gained.....!
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby icelesley » October 10th, 2017, 7:08 am

Actually there is a spider that will take fluid from tomatoes, its a wolf spider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc26RNB8EBE
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 10th, 2017, 7:17 am

The Wolf Spider seems plausible.

The image of it in the video sucking on the tomato didn't seem that daunting, the final shot however - woah!

Edited to say...I have just found this article. I have yet to watch the little critter swimming..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... onths.html
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby StokeySue » October 10th, 2017, 9:04 am

The Thing took the night off
I may have discouraged it by a very thorough clean up before I baited my trap, but I needed to get rid of a faint film of coffee anyway. I took the opportunity to check, the back of the counter is sealed against the wall with a clear silicon bead, unbroken and smooth
Waiting....
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby icelesley » October 10th, 2017, 9:14 am

Ooooo I do like a good mystery :D
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby scullion » October 10th, 2017, 9:14 am

my first thought was slug, too.

StokeySue wrote:I may have discouraged it by a very thorough clean up before I baited my trap


or you've eaten it along with a tomato!
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby Grasshopper » October 10th, 2017, 7:42 pm

scullion wrote:my first thought was slug, too.

StokeySue wrote:I may have discouraged it by a very thorough clean up before I baited my trap


or you've eaten it along with a tomato!


URRRRRRRPPPPPP!!!!!!! :sprout: :sprout: :sprout: :sprout: :sprout: :sprout: :sprout: :sprout: :sprout:

:sprout:
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 10th, 2017, 8:08 pm

If it is a spid then it could be dead by now. They only last a couple of says don't they?
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby StokeySue » October 10th, 2017, 8:23 pm

TeresaFoodie wrote:If it is a spid then it could be dead by now. They only last a couple of says don't they?

Depends on the spider
Most live a fair while, the reason thee move into houses in the autumn is find a nice dry spot to survive the whole winter, then they go on into summer
They live longer than insects generally do, they are arachnids, and arachnids are tough
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby Catherine » October 10th, 2017, 8:45 pm

Oh no, I reckon its the same person who currently lives at my sisters house. He's called 'wasn't me' and is an absolute bugger. The kids seem to know him rather well
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby Chinchilla_lady » October 11th, 2017, 11:46 am

StokeySue wrote:They live longer than insects generally do,


Not if Alfie sees them they dont :lol:
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Re: Help - something's eating tomatoes in my kitchen

Postby icelesley » October 11th, 2017, 12:20 pm

Not if Frankie and Kai see them first either :lol: :lol:
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