Do rabbits eat tomato plants? Yes, tomatoes are favorite to rabbits for their taste and juiciness.
Tomatoes are also a favorite of gardeners due to their fantastic taste and the look it brings to the garden, however, wild and pet rabbits will try their luck with tomatoes in your garden.
Thus, following our suggestions, you must find ways to prevent bunnies from eating your tomato and tomato plants.
- Do Rabbits Regularly Eat Tomato Plants?
- Why Do Rabbits Eat Tomatoes and Tomato Plants?
- Is Eating Tomatoes Harmful to Rabbits?
- How Do You Know Rabbits Are Eating Tomatoes In Your Garden?
- What Are Tips on Keeping Rabbits Away from Eating Tomato Plants?
Do Rabbits Regularly Eat Tomato Plants?
Yes, rabbits regularly eat tomato plants. Gardeners will often find tomatoes missing from the plants. So, they will look for the culprit who stole the tomatoes. In most cases, bunnies will be responsible for the missing tomatoes. Indeed, rabbits love eating both green and red tomatoes.
Rabbits are herbivorous and highly opportunistic. Thus, they will not stop trying their luck on the tomato plants once they eat the fruits. Although rabbits don’t particularly like tomato plants due to their harsh structure, they often graze on them.
While rabbits eat tomatoes, some will also try eating the plants. Most wild bunnies will enjoy grazing on tomato leaves, plants, lettuce, and other leafy plants in your garden. It will cause severe damage to your tomato cultivation.
In fact, your tomato cultivation may be reduced drastically when rabbits eat tomato plants. So, you must control rabbits and stop them from eating the tomato plant and its fruit.
Why Do Rabbits Eat Tomatoes and Tomato Plants?
Rabbits eat tomatoes and its plants because they can easily reach them. That is one of the reasons at least. Rabbits are conservative with their energy so they want an easy meal. On average, a tomato plant grows 3 to 4 feet high.
Hence, rabbits can easily reach even their top with a quick jump. Moreover, tomatoes will be 2 to 3 feet above the ground, making it easier for rabbits eating tomatoes. Since bunnies always look for an easy meal, they find tomatoes an accessible fruit. It is almost inevitable that they will eat tomato plants.
Plus, veterinarians have found that tomatoes are rich in essential nutrients and vitamins for rabbits. A tomato has 90 percent to 95 percent water in its entirety. As they can remain hydrated by eating tomatoes and plant leaves, these small animals love it.
That’s why bunnies will drop into your garden to eat tomatoes during the extreme cold when everything is freezing – they need the hydration and nutritional value. Plus, during the drought, rabbits will do the same.
In the wilderness, rabbits always look for food that won’t challenge their predators or similar animals. As a result, garden-grown tomatoes become an excellent option to fulfill their hunger.
Is Eating Tomatoes Harmful to Rabbits?
Eating tomatoes can be harmful to rabbits, and bunnies eat tomatoes enthusiastically. Tomatoes aren’t going to hurt your bunnies’ health as long as you give them in a limited amount. However, if rabbits continue eating tomatoes for the entire season, it can harm their health.
Tomato and tomato plants alike contain glycoalkaloids in high amounts. Plus, glycoalkaloid is a source of the toxic solanine elements. In fact, almost all nightshade plants release solanine due to their physical structure.
When rabbits eat too many tomatoes, this toxic solanine enters their bodies. Although solanine and glycoalkaloid won’t cause the death of pet rabbits, they can potentially hurt their intestine. So, they might suffer from stomach ache. Plus, the four grams of sugar content in tomatoes will hurt bunnies’ health.
When rabbits eat too many tomatoes, they will have the following problems:
- Stomach pain
When your furry pet friend shows any one of the signs and you suspect it has eaten tomatoes, you must consult the vet ASAP. It’s always better to avoid rabbit health complications.
Thankfully, for rabbit owners, the toxicity level of solanine in the tomato becomes less as it matures. So, you can feed tomatoes to rabbits when the tomatoes become mature. It will be an excellent reward for the bunnies.
Rabbits love feeding on tomatoes for their amazing fragrance and colorful presentation. Also, consuming more tomatoes means rabbits will remain hydrated longer without drinking water. Baby rabbits are particularly fond of tomato plants for their hydrational requirements.
So, pet owners might feed tomatoes to their rabbits. But it shouldn’t be more than one to two per week. Rabbit owners mustn’t start feeding green tomatoes as the main meal to their pet bunnies. When you offer rabbits to eat tomatoes, don’t forget to wash them thoroughly. As you wash the tomatoes to feed rabbits, it will be safer for them.
How Do You Know Rabbits Are Eating Tomatoes In Your Garden?
You know rabbits are eating tomatoes in you garden when you find their droppings – that is how you can be sure it’s bunnies doing it. As it happens, you might suspect that wild animals such as deer and rabbits may have eaten them.
Are there any signs of rabbits dropping in your garden? How to tell if rabbits are feasting on your tomatoes?
Both wild and pet rabbits will leave pellets in the garden. If you see rabbit pellets frequently in the garden, it warns you about their presence. Thus, you should carefully observe the garden, plant surroundings, and nearby areas to find rabbit pellets. It won’t be hard to find them because of their presence in high amounts.
- If rabbits infiltrate your garden, there will be signs of digging in the garden. Rabbits love to dig wherever they go. So, look for smaller holes and digging signs.
- Rabbits won’t leave any chewing signs on the leaves because of their clean eating habit. So, you must observe the tomato plants and leaves. It is undoubtedly rabbited if these are eaten cleanly without any bite marks.
- Rabbit pellets will be around ¼ to ½ inches. So, observing in the garden it will be easy to identify the pellets.
You should observe it for two to three days to become sure about rabbit droppings in the garden. Once you are sure about rabbits eating tomatoes and plants in the garden, you must find ways to keep them away. Preventing rabbits from entering your garden is crucial before they eat your whole crop.
What Are Tips on Keeping Rabbits Away from Eating Tomato Plants?
Tips on keeping rabbits away from eating tomato plants are to use fencing around the garden, apply unfavorable and lousy smells, motion sprinklers, and even human traps to keep bunnies away from the garden. Now, let’s see the tips with details.
– Remove Bushes and Clutter
Rabbits are obviously afraid of predators. Thus, they will roam through the bushes and tall grasses to protect themselves from cats, dogs, and other predators. You may take advantage of such habits of rabbits to keep them away from tomato plants.
Wild rabbits usually love bushes, large shrubs, and densely planted garden areas. Also, they are fond of clutter in your garden. Hence, you must keep the garden clutter-free. Also, avoid planting too many bushes and shrubs close to the tomato plants.
As wild rabbits find them in open spaces to access the tomatoes, they won’t dare come close to them. In fact, they will freeze as soon as they suspect any human or animal movement. Therefore, you shouldn’t plant large shedding trees and shrubs if you have cultivated tomatoes.
– Use Scarecrows
You must have observed that some animals freeze as soon as they see you. Since rabbits are vulnerable in their habitat and fear predators, they are also frightened of humans.
Thus, you may set up a few scarecrows in the garden to scare rabbits away. You may use a stick, straw, and old clothes to make a scarecrow. Also, you can enjoy the fun of making the human-shaped scarecrow with your children for weekend enjoyment.
It will be, therefore, useful to keep rabbits away and enjoy a lovely weekend with family. Also, setting up a scarecrow will keep birds away. It will be useful for grasses and shrubs in the garden.
– Control the Habitat
Controlling habitats for rabbits is much like removing bushes and clutters. You must understand the rabbits’ habitat first. As you plan the garden against their habitat, it will help to deter the bunnies from your garden.
First, remove any hiding space from the garden, such as bushes and long grasses. Also, look for any raised buildings in the garden. Many homeowners will have raised homes for their kittens, bird, and even dogs.
You should surround and block its bases. Thus, rabbits won’t hide underneath the base of the raised home. It will prevent them from approaching the tomato plant using the hiding space. Also, remove all the junk piles to make the garden less attractive for the furry animal.
– Use Wire Fencing
Fencing the garden will be useful to keep rabbits, deer, and other animals away from the garden. But regular fencing won’t work for rabbits because of their determined nature. Rabbits can either slide through or jump over the fence. Moreover, they will keep trying to pass the fencing if they sense they can be provided with food.
So, ensure that the fencing is strong and also, put 3 to 5 inches of fencing inside the ground, so rabbits can’t dig in and slide through it. Ensure the fencing is at least 3 feet above the ground for height. Wild rabbits won’t be able to jump over it.
As you apply wire fencing, ensure the squares are smaller in size. It will deter the rabbits from sliding through the squares. Also, use chicken wire right at the fencing bottom. It will block all the possible entrances for the rabbits into the garden.
– Use Rabbit Repellants
There’s also the opportunity to use rabbit repellants in the garden and around the tomato plants. You may choose from homemade and commercial rabbit repellants. Homemade repellants will be better because they will only deter the rabbits from the garden and won’t hurt them.
- Hot pepper spray
- Dried blood meal
- Rotten egg mixture
The key is to spread a bad fragrance in the garden to make it less appealing for the rabbits. Also, ensure that the repellant doesn’t make the tomatoes inedible. So, homemade rabbit repellants will be helpful instead of commercial ones. You may wash them with a garden hose for quick garden management.
– Grow Plants That Rabbits Dislike
Instead of using temporary rabbit repellants, you should plant trees that keep rabbits away. Bunnies usually dislike plants with solid odors and prickly leaves. Hence, you can grow plants with prickly leaves around the fence.
Rabbit-repellant plants include:
- Corsican Mint
Their pungent smell and prickly leaves will deter rabbits. You can grow them in between the tomatoes for more security.
– Grow Companion Plants
Companion plants in the garden will help grow and protect each other from animals and pests. For tomatoes, you can grow garlic as a companion plant. Its pungent odor keeps the rabbit away. Also, it protects the tomatoes from pest attacks to boost their harvest.
Hence, you can try this tomato and garlic combo to boost your cultivation rate.
– Sprinkle Predator’s Smell
These days, you will find many artificial scents of animals in commercial forms. You can buy a bottle of it and sprinkle it around the tomato plants. As rabbits sense the predator’s smell, they will think twice about entering the garden.
Do rabbits eat tomato plants? Yes, rabbits like tomatoes, and in the process of eating tomatoes, they will graze on the plants and their leaves too.
You must deter them from stopping a good yield of tomatoes.
- The solanine in tomatoes is toxic for rabbits. Consuming too much tomato will cause stomach pain and bloating due to the solanine.
- When using rabbit traps, check the local wild animals and gardening laws. Many counties will stop you from using pesticides and toxic elements to deter rabbits.
- As you apply different methods to keep bunnies away, ensure it won’t hurt the tomatoes. You must refrain from applying pesticides or insecticides over plants and fruits.
Rabbits are curious and determined animals so, you should use security cams to detect their movement in the garden.
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