I grew a perfectly good watermelon. The second one that was ready was bitten into by a squirrel, but not totally, into the fleshy pink part. Is it safe to eat or will I get a disease or something? I hate to lose it.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Adrena: Squirrels like a tasty treat too but as gardeners we certainly do not want to share our crops with them. So yes, it is a concern that it has taken a bite out of your melon but if it only bit into the rind and not the actual flesh then you should be fine. If this melon was in my garden I would not give it to the squirrels; instead I would cut away around where it nibbled and then eat the rest. Of course if you want to be absolutely certain then you should not consume the fruit. I am not an animal expert but from the research I have done I could not find any documented cases of squirrels transmitting rabies or any other serious diseases to humans. It is nearly impossible to keep these critters out of the garden so next year you might consider placing a crate over the melon so they cannot get to it as it matures.