Re: Accursed plant predators!

From: Chris Teichreb (
Date: Wed Jan 20 1999 - 09:30:03 PST

Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 09:30:03 -0800 (PST)
From: Chris Teichreb <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg166$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Accursed plant predators!

Hi Ian,

> I put my windowsill plants outdoors for the winter, on my fire escape in
> my urban neighborhood.
> Recently, something has been coming and tearing up the pitchers pretty
> good. The Dioneaea and Droseraea (sp?) are all ok, but the Sarrs. are
> pretty torn up.

        In my experience, the mice, cats, and racoons all tear apart the
pitchers looking for the contents. However, since you say that they're
attacking only the spindly, non insect filled pitchers, that seems to rule
out these three culprits.

> Given the locale, I figure the short list of suspects to be :
> a cat
> a bird
> a mouse
> a racoon
> in descending order of neighborhood sightings. Any cat, bird owners
> with relevant insight? Not a real critical growth issue (thanks, BTW,
> for the replies on the horticultural charcoal thread) but a curiosity
> nonetheless.

        I've never witnessed any birds destroying pitchers on my plants.
They hop around in the pots looking for seeds (there's always wild grass
seeds sprouting in my pots outside) or stealing sphagnum for nesting
material. Cats will also usually dig up the plant, rather than destroy
the top (anyone who grows any bulbs of any sort will agree!).

        So, my best advice is to sit inside for the entire day watching
your plants until whatever it is comes to destroy it. Then, decisions
must be made as to what to do to deter it as it will likely return in
spring when it is a problem. This is coming from personal experience of
plagues of squirrels and racoons (plus babies!). Sorry I couldn't be of
more help!

> Thoughts?
> Thanks in advance,
> Ian
> San Francisco, CA


Chris Teichreb
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C.

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