All fine in the garden at last night's watering. I almost picked my best Bell pepper, decided to give it another day or two.
This morning, three of the pepper plants are stripped, including the one with the best pepper. I mean absolutely everything other than the stalk removed, leaves, peppers, all. No debris around on the ground. They aren't nibbled; they are completely stripped to the stalk. Not a leaf left. Overnight.
Neighboring tomatoes on one side and cantaloupe on the other were ignored.
In my neck of the woods starlings will deleaf a pepper plant down to the stalk within an hour of discovering them, but they've never bothered with my sweet peppers, they prefer chiles. And, they don't work overnight, though they will work at dusk and dawn.
Groundhog is capable of eating a sweet pepper plant or three bare in a short period of time, but they too don't work overnight, but can be very active at dusk and dawn, especially in searing heat.
My vote is rabbit or raccoon if the damage was done strictly in dead of night.
Once again, a complete crime scene investigation needs to be made. All angles need to be looked into.
If the leaves, et al were taken off at an angle, my rabbit-hater csi ears are pricked. Rabbits are evil beings. They eat all kinds of stuff. I find rabbit poo usually near by.
You should not water at night. That sets up mold. Also it cleans the vegges for the thief's!
I had a broccoli incident also. All were mangled and eaten to the nubs. Upset, didn't describe it well. Think of an erupting volcano.
Good fences make good neighbors. Be they humans or varmints!
We currently have nets on our blueberries. Since the dogs killed 38 mockingbirds last year, there are practically none around to get in the nets. Which the bodies I tossed over the fence, thinking mr fox would get them, but NO I fed mr and mrs skunk, which I trapped the following winter and they WERE successfully fed to the buzzards.
I digress in my varmint infiltration of my personal gardens.