You’ve probably asked “Do squirrels eat tomatoes plants?” if you have tomatoes growing in your garden. If you are a proud tomato gardener, the last thing you want is for those pesky little critters – the squirrels – to take over your garden and feast on your delicious tomatoes.
Squirrels love to eat tomatoes, so protecting your tomato garden is essential to keep them away. But don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with some amazing tips that will keep these critters away from your tomato garden for good.
- Do Squirrels Like To Eat Tomato Plants?
- Why Squirrels Eat Tomato Plants?
- What Are the Signs of Squirrels Eating Tomato Plants?
- How Can You Keep Squirrels Away From Tomatoes?
- – Coffee Grounds
- – Hot Pepper
- – Predator Urine
- – Companion Plants
- – Squirrel Repellent
- – Harvest Ripe Tomatoes
- – Cayenne Pepper
- – Remove Bird Feeders
- – Fences
- – Traps
- – Sprinklers
- – Plastic Owls
- – Noise
- – Netting
- – Barriers
- – Lights
- – Garlic
- – Ultrasonic Devices
- – Remove What Attracts Them
- – Provide a Distraction
- – Protect Your Fruits
- – White Vinegar
Do Squirrels Like To Eat Tomato Plants?
Yes, squirrels like to eat tomato plants. Also, tomatoes are quite tasty and nutritious, so it’s no surprise that they are a favorite among squirrels.
Before we get into this let’s take a moment to understand what squirrels eat. Squirrels are omnivorous creatures, meaning they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, they mostly feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, fungi, and insects.
In urban areas, they quickly adapt to their environment and start eating the food that is most readily available to them, including pet food, birdseed, trash, and even the plants in your garden!
Squirrels are natural gymnasts and are fast and agile. They can quickly climb fences and wires and squeeze into tight spaces and holes. If they are after something in your vegetable garden, they will find a way to get to it.
Why Squirrels Eat Tomato Plants?
Squirrels eat tomato plants because they are a great source of water for a thirsty squirrel and they will attack both ripe and green tomatoes to quench their thirst. You can place a water source near your garden to keep them away.
The problem with squirrels eating your tomato plants is that they can quickly decimate an entire garden, leaving you with little to no tomatoes. That’s why it’s so important to take measures for keeping squirrels away from your tomato garden.
– Eating Tomatoes at Night
Some other wildlife may also take a nibble at your fruits and crops, but you can recognize squirrel problems by small bite marks on fruits. Occasionally, they will eat tomato plants whole, but only rarely. Squirrel attacks take place in the daytime, and almost never during the night!
What Are the Signs of Squirrels Eating Tomato Plants?
The signs of squirrels eating tomato plants include dig spots around the garden, bite marks on the fruits, missing plants, nibbled seeds on the ground, garbage digging, and eaten flowers. These pesky animals can create a lot of damage to the vegetable garden.
These rodents are mostly active in the daytime and you should be aware of the obvious signs.
– Dig Spots
Squirrels create dug holes in plant beds. These holes aren’t as large as mole holes, so you’re looking at golf ball-sized or even smaller holes.
Seedbeds are popular squirrel activity places, as they adore munching on seeds!
– Bite Marks
Missing fruits or small bite marks will scream that squirrel activity is in place! They will sometimes munch on a part of the tomato plant and leave the rest of the fruit on the ground before they disappear.
If given enough time, they will eat the entire fruit. Some favorite produce other than tomato include squash, cucumbers, beans, and eggplants.
– Missing Plants and Nibbled Seeds
If you can find remnants of seedlings lying scattered on the soil, then you’re probably dealing with squirrels. They will mess with the leaves on your perennial garden bed too!
Squirrels love ripening seedheads and they will eat them from the outside — they’re especially fond of sunflowers.
– Garbage Digging
If your compost bins and pots of herbs and vegetables are somehow always looking like they’ve been dug into, it’s highly likely you have squirrels to blame. Sometimes squirrels will go for potted plants in their attempt to hide and bury nuts.
– Eaten Flowers
If you have partially eaten flowers on your premises, it’s like a squirrel was on the loose. They love daisy blooms, but they won’t stay away from trying other blossoms too. If you spot a flower with some of the petals and even the center missing, that’s a pretty big clue you have a squirrel gang in your garden.
If you spot any of these signs, keep an open eye whenever you can!
How Can You Keep Squirrels Away From Tomatoes?
You can keep squirrels away from tomatoes and other plants in your garden by using coffee grounds, hot pepper or cayenne pepper, predator’s urine, companion plants that repel squirrels, fences or traps, squirrel repellent sprays, sprinklers, and harvesting tomatoes as soon as they ripen.
In some areas, squirrels will commonly live in the trees or even some of your landscaping specimens. We don’t recommend going berserk on your trees and chopping them down, as you can apply some steps to outsmart these critters. Use a combo of these tactics for the best results.
– Coffee Grounds
One of the easiest and most innovative ways to deter squirrels from eating your tomato plants is to spread coffee grounds around the base of the plants. The strong scent of coffee grounds will keep them away, and the grounds will also provide a natural fertilizer for your plants, which is a win-win!
– Hot Pepper
Another great way to keep squirrels away from your tomato garden is to sprinkle hot pepper flakes or powder around the base of your plants.
The spicy smell will deter them from coming too close, and the hot pepper will also provide your plants with essential nutrients.
– Predator Urine
If you want to take your squirrel-deterring measures one step further, you can spread predator urine around the base of your tomato plants. The predator urine will send a clear message to the squirrels that they are not welcome in your garden.
– Companion Plants
If you want to keep pesky squirrels away from your tomato garden, try planting companion plants around the base of your tomato plants. These companion plants will help to confuse and disorient the squirrels, making it difficult for them to find your tomatoes. Some of the strongly scented plants like mint, garlic, and rosemary may even repel them.
– Squirrel Repellent
There are many commercial squirrel repellents on the market that you can use to keep squirrels away from your tomato garden. These repellents are designed to emit a scent that squirrels find unpleasant, so they will stay away from your plants.
Some gardeners even found success with the use of pepper spray. You can pepper spray your fruits and plants, which will leave a bad taste in their mouths and can make them tear up too!
Repellent sprays have proven effective at deterring squirrels. Use sprays made of chili peppers, or even pepper sprays. If you’re going for a homemade option, you can apply the spray directly on your tomatoes. Just make sure to wash your fruits after harvesting.
– Harvest Ripe Tomatoes
If you want to keep the annoying squirrels away from your tomato plants, it’s important to harvest your ripe tomatoes as soon as they mature. This will prevent squirrels from getting to them and will also ensure that you get the most out of your harvest.
– Cayenne Pepper
Another great way to keep squirrels away from your tomato plants is to sprinkle cayenne pepper around the base of the plants. The spicy smell will deter the squirrels, and the pepper will also add some essential nutrients to your soil.
Squirrels hate the scents of white pepper, black pepper, and even garlic. The same can be said for your mint perennial herbs. Try misting your plants with water and then sprinkling on some pepper or mint dust or oil to keep the squirrels away!
– Remove Bird Feeders
If you have bird feeders placed in your yard, make sure to keep them as far away from your tomato garden as possible. Squirrels are attracted to bird feeders, so keeping squirrels away from your tomatoes will help to deter them from coming too close.
If you want to keep those squirrels away from your tomato plants, consider building a fence around your garden. This will not only keep the squirrels out, but it will also protect your plants from other animals and pests.
If you just can’t wait to get rid of the squirrels in your garden, consider setting up some humane traps. This will allow you to catch the squirrels without harming them, and you can then relocate them to a different area.
This may seem like a viable idea, as many gardeners tend to trap and release squirrels. While this can be a good short-term idea for decreasing the squirrel population, they may soon come back in greater numbers.
Also, in some parts of the US squirrels are considered a hunting game species and as such are protected by law. That means that trapping them can get you in trouble unless you possess documents, so be sure to check your state’s Department of Game before you attempt to trap them!
Another great way to deter squirrels from eating tomatoes is to set up motion-activated sprinklers around your garden. The sudden spray of water will scare them away, and the sprinklers will also help to keep your plants hydrated.
– Plastic Owls
If you want to give the squirrels a scare, consider setting up some plastic owls around your tomato garden. They will think there is a predator nearby and this will prevent squirrels to eat away at your plants. If you have a pet animal like a dog or a cat, then let them out for some playtime in the garden!
If you want to keep the pesky squirrels away from your tomato plants, you can try making some noise in your garden. This can be anything from clapping your hands to banging some pots and pans. The sudden noise will scare them away.
If you want to protect your tomato plants from squirrels, consider using some bird netting around your plants. This will keep the small animals away from your tomatoes, and it will also help to protect your plants from other pests.
If you want to keep the annoying squirrels away from your tomato plants, consider building some barriers around the plants. This can be something as simple as a wooden fence or a hedge.
If you want to deter the squirrels from coming to your tomato garden, consider setting up some motion-activated lights around the area. The sudden burst of light will scare them away.
Squirrels hate the smell of garlic, so consider planting some around your tomato plants. This will help to deter the squirrels from coming too close, and the garlic will also provide some essential nutrients to your soil.
– Ultrasonic Devices
If you want to keep pesky squirrels away from your tomato garden, consider investing in an ultrasonic device. These devices emit a high-pitched sound that will deter the squirrels from coming too close.
– Remove What Attracts Them
Squirrels are attracted to the scent and sight of fallen fruit, nuts, and seeds. If you can clean up these items beneath trees and your bird feeders, that’s a big plus. You should also make sure that the lids on your cans are securely fitted so squirrels don’t dig around your trash!
– Provide a Distraction
You can strategically place decoy food stations that offer squirrel treats! Place some sunflower seeds, peanuts, or corn in an isolated corner of your yard some lengths away from your tomato plants.
Some gardeners even advise planting a few extra sacrificial tomato plants in these areas to feed the squirrels and make them stay away from the main crop. Add some water too, but be aware that you may attract some other critters with this tactic.
– Protect Your Fruits
Squirrels are picky eaters, and will only have a go at fully ripe tomatoes. Try using some plastic foil and wrap your hanging fruits with it. As squirrels approach the fruit, they won’t be too keen to eat through the plastic envelope.
– White Vinegar
You may have heard about the use of white vinegar as a good squirrel deterrent option. You can use it to spray your plants or immerse cloths in it and place them all around your plants, but take note that white vinegar may actually bring some harm to your crops and even kill them instead of helping.
Now that you know how to keep squirrels out of your tomato garden, it’s time to take action and start protecting your plants.
By following the combination of these effective tips, you should easily be able to get rid of squirrels munching on your tomatoes:
- Squirrels are attracted to tomato plants because they are an excellent source of food that is available to them.
- You will know if there are squirrels eating away at your fruits by inspecting your seeds, seeing the presence of dug holes and half-eaten fruits, or if there’s garbage dispersed around your garden.
- Try to set up traps for squirrels or try to deter them by using garlic and pepper sprays, building fences, removing what attracts them, creating some noise, or simply letting your pets loose!
- Squirrels should not be killed. Instead, try to provide some distraction by giving them a munching place, but be careful not to attract other pests!
Don’t forget that squirrels love the taste of ripe tomatoes, so make sure that your crop is safe from these small critters. Good luck and happy gardening!
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