My plants look nice and healthy, green leaves, no sign of infestation when I check the garden in the afternoon or early eveining. When I check in the morning (from about 7:30pm until about 6am), the leaves are literally GONE with little more than a stem left. The damage in that short amount of time is impressive. This has happened to green beans, cantaloupe, tomatoes, spinach, Lima beans, Brussels sprouts (all were started from seed) and just about everything except else except a single sunflower started from seed. They have not touched a lavender plant and tomatoes and Bell peppers that I bought as plants. None of the seedlings got a chance to be more than a few inches tall. They get attacked while sprouting, just before I transplant them or after I transplant - it doesn't seem to matter. Once they get between 2-3" tall, they are GONE! I currently have a "patch" of cantaloupe growing where I'd tossed seeds in a bare patch of the garden and they have been flourishing. 2 days ago, I noticed that whatever it is has been munching on the leaves of the cantaloupe. It (or they) seems to start on the outside edge and eat until it gets to the stem, leaving tiny stubs of veins on a bare stem sticking out of the ground/planter. I've looked up damage by Japanese beetles and thrips, but neither matches what my plants look like. The last couple of evenings I've been spraying the plants with a concoction of water, dish soap, tabasco and vinegar, and this seems to help - the damage, if any, is minimal. It's not rabbits - the plants have been covered with chicken wire and are not sticking through, nor are they close enough for the rabbits to reach through the wire. Besides, the damage is also happening to plants in containers on tables, where rabbits can't reach them.

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Hope that you have a 6 ft fence...........I am suspecting deer & or racoons are visiting you during the night..................mix 1 qt water 2 tablespoons dawn & 5 to 10 drops of hot sauce.....might need more.......................spray after the sun passes & the plants cool off..................we have 2 area of planted things both with 6 ft fences.................and short fine fence at the bottom with slate turned sideways to keep the small rodents out.
by (150k points)
We are not in an area where deer or raccoons live. I have discovered that the perpetrators ARE thrips - finally saw the little demons. I've had some success in spraying the remaining leaves and new growth with a soapy water solution at dusk. But, if I forget or if it rains, everything I worked to save is gone!

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