Do Squirrels Eat Tomatoes? Animal & Garden Guide

Do squirrels eat tomatoes? In this article, we’ll not only answer this question but also share tips on how to tell if a squirrel is raiding your tomato crops and how you can prevent that from happening.

Let’s get started!

Do Squirrels Eat Tomatoes?

Squirrels have a diet loaded with nuts, fruits, seeds, and veggies — including tomatoes! Squirrels especially like to munch on the ripest, mostly brightly colored tomatoes. They seem to target the juiciest tomatoes that are just about to be picked.

How to Tell that Squirrels are Attacking Your Tomatoes

If you’ve found eaten tomatoes tossed around your garden and want to make sure a squirrel is responsible for the damage, there are certain clues you can look for to confirm your suspicions.

For example, squirrels leave behind chewed tomatoes with medium to large bite holes on only one side of the fruit. Although a squirrel may eat an entire tomato, it usually goes for the sinister behavior of just taking a couple of bites of a bunch of tomatoes and ruining them all for you.

Another sign of squirrel damage is if it’s done during the day because that’s when these animals are active. This means that if the damage takes place overnight, the culprit is probably another mammal.

Additionally, you can tell it’s a squirrel that ate your tomatoes if you notice small holes in your garden’s ground or containers close by. This indicates the digging actions of a squirrel.

Besides tomatoes, squirrels may nibble on other plants such as flowers (particularly daisies).

If you notice that both the fruit and leaves of your tomato plant are damaged, then you’re likely dealing with an insect issue.

Why do Squirrels Eat Tomatoes?

Besides liking how they taste, is there a reason why squirrels eat tomatoes?

We know that these critters generally enjoy ripe tomatoes, but if they’re thirsty they’ll attack green ones, as well. If this is the case, you can fix the problem by providing a source of water away from your plants.

This will deter squirrels from eating your tomatoes just due to thirst. Alternatively, you can set up a birdbath and do both animals a favor.

How to Keep Squirrels Away from Your Tomato Plants

If you’re sure that squirrels are ruining your tomatoes, you don’t have to put up with the situation. The following tips and methods can help protect your garden from unwanted squirrel attacks so you can finally enjoy your tomatoes in peace.

1. Get Rid of Squirrel Attractants in Your Garden

You may not realize it, but you could be the one inviting squirrels into your garden unknowingly. So, start by removing all the things that may be causing squirrels to stop by your yard. Here’s what you can do:

  • Don’t leave garbage bags out in the open. Squirrels may go through them to rummage for food leftovers and stumble upon your tomato plants in the process. Instead, use trash bins with lockable lids to keep squirrels and raccoons from getting their paws on them.
  • Remove bird feeders. Not only do bird feeders attract squirrels, but having birds close while you’re growing vegetables may result in bird attacks on your plants.
  • Get rid of foods falling from your trees. For example, if your bushes and trees are dropping nuts, seeds, fruits, or berries, you should clear up your yard to avoid squirrels paying you visits to eat the fallen goods.

2. Shield Your Tomato Plants

 

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Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If there’s a high population of squirrels in your area, then shielding your tomato plants can be quite effective in stopping unwanted attacks.

There are a few ways you can make your tomatoes less accessible such as cages, bird netting, or covers. Although these might not work 100% against squirrels, they can prevent damage from other animals, as well.

3. Plant Mint Nearby

 

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A lot of pests and critters hate the scent of mint, including squirrels. If you plant some mint near your garden, this can help repel squirrels from your tomatoes.

4. Get a Dog

It’s an instinct for most dogs to chase away small animals, so bringing in a dog can scare away squirrels and keep them from getting into your garden.

If the weather’s fine and there are no predators to worry about, you can have your dog stay outside during the day to guard your crops.

5. Apply Apple Cider Vinegar

 

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Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Apple cider vinegar is another natural repellent that can effectively keep squirrels away from your garden. Not to mention, it won’t cost you much.

All you need to do is get some apple cider vinegar, soak rags in it, and place these rags around your tomato plants.

6. Use Predator Decoys

 

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Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The same way farmers use scarecrows to keep birds away from their crops, you can use predator decoys to discourage squirrels from attacking your tomatoes.

All you need to do is buy a few decoys — owls and hawks work pretty well — and place them close to your tomato plants. Be sure to change the position of your decoys from time to time so that the squirrels don’t realize the predators are fake.

7. Spray Liquid Squirrel Repellents

 

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Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Repellent sprays can do a good job of keeping squirrels away from your tomato plants. These sprays may contain all-natural ingredients or there may be some chemicals involved.

Either way, spray repellents are super simple to use. You just point a spray bottle at the plants and press on a trigger to release the liquid.

The drawback of using repellent sprays is their longevity. Although their effects may last for several days at a time, most of these sprays wash away with water.

So, you’ll have to reapply the spray whenever it rains or after every time you water the tomatoes.

8. Try Ultrasonic Devices or Radios

 

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Ultrasonic devices can prevent squirrels from entering your garden and eating your tomatoes. They produce sounds at frequencies that the human ear can’t pick up but are very annoying to animals such as squirrels. This noise will make the critters want to keep away from your property.

If you don’t want to buy an ultrasonic device but have a radio lying around, you can use it to generate noise that’ll deter squirrels from your tomatoes. Simply place a radio close to the plants and play some loud, upbeat music.

9. Set Up Motion-Detecting Sprinklers

 

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Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Finally, you can set up motion-detecting sprinklers near your tomato plants. They’ll go off whenever they sense movement, blasting water at squirrels and other animals that get too close to the fruit.

You can benefit from such sprinklers in watering your plants, but be careful about placing them right next to your tomatoes to avoid overwatering.

Wrap Up

So do squirrels eat tomatoes? You can bet on it, but as we explained, there are ways you can effectively keep squirrels away from your garden and enjoy your tomatoes in peace.