I live in southwest MN and have started growing some vegetables in containers. We had a big storm, so I put the pots on the ground beside my porch because they always get blown over. Today, I noticed that my butter bibb lettuce is essentially gone. It's been consumed by something. I looked at what was left and saw tons of little black bead looking things all over. They look like caviar. I can't tell if it's excrement or eggs of some kind. Every bit of the leaves are gone except the spiny part. I have 5 other pots of veggies around it but this is the only one this happened to. Does anyone have an idea what these things might be? Thank you.

  • 1
    closeup picture please
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 17:17
  • Sounds either like caterpillar poop or slug eggs...
    – That Idiot
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


Definitely need pictures. Sounds like rodents if the size of these pellets are the size of caviar! Either that or a big ole cut worm...and it takes only one cutworm to make this kind of damage. I'd go out tonight with a flashlight! If you find a big caterpillar that curls into a ball when disturbed...sigh, just cut him in half with scissors. Send pics so we can tell whether the poop is from rodents or insects. Cutworms are easy and my money at the moment would be on cutworms...rodents love fruits like tomatoes, eggplant. If it is cutworm, go out for a few nights to kill (sigh) the few you will find. Never ever have seen more than one or two but terrific damage. No pesticides are indicated! Do you have slugs? You should see 'slime trails' and again going out at night for a few nights to (sigh) chop these guys in half works better than any pesticide or other treatment I know about! You HAVE GOT TO SEE what it is that is doing this damage!! It is a BIG no-no to guess and do treatments without knowing for certain what you are dealing with.

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