What is eating my apples?

Asked August 25, 2017, 1:24 PM EDT

I'm having major apple damage from something eating my apples. Not sure if it is birds, wasps/bees, squirrels, mice, bats, other, or any combination of these. Eating part of apple as they ripen. I'm also seeing what I believe to be feces deposits on adjacent apples (see second photo)--not sure if that is clue as to what is doing the damage? On crabapples as they ripen first, but also my Zestar and I'm sure my Haraldson apples will be assaulted as well. Do apples ripen much/sufficiently if picked somewhat green to try to salvage some of crop?

Polk County Minnesota

1 Response

My guess would be squirrels or birds. But other critters such as raccoons or deer could be responsible. Dealing with squirrels or birds is very difficult. Read here:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/wildlife/squirrels/
http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/birddamage.html

The scat looks like bird droppings, which could be a clue.

Apples may ripen somewhat off the tree (but them in paper bags), but I wouldn't advise that as a strategy. Instead, find out what critter is eating them, then try to control it. Read here:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/apples-in-home-garden/