What creature is eating the lettuce in my greenhouse?


I have some small creature eating my lettuce. It gets into my greenhouse, which only a small rodent could do. It eats a fair amount of lettuce down to almost ground level. The larger creatures that also devour what I grow — porcupines and skunks — I am able to trap and relocate.   I could use help determining what is eating the lettuce.


Abi Griffith, Horticulture Community Education Assistant

Sorry to hear that!  It may be helpful to look at this fact sheet What’s Eating My Vegetables from UMass and scroll down to ponder the “Damage By Vertebrates” section which includes suspects such as rabbits, woodchucks, chipmunks, and squirrels. They suggest watching the area around the mornings and dusk to see any rodent activity and checking for any droppings? The fact sheet also describes the plant damage by type of critter so this may give you some more clues. They also suggest “To help determine what vertebrate animal is causing the damage, sprinkle a layer of finely ground limestone around the damaged plants and look for animal tracks left in the powder the next day.” Is the greenhouse a secure, closed up structure, reducing the suspects to a certain size as you suggest? You could try covering the lettuce at night with some row cover if you have some to deter the critter.