How do I keep squirrels away from my growing tomatoes?

deemarie5500July 8, 2007

This is driving me and DH crazy! They seem to know just when the tomatoes will turn pinkish.

I do not want to pick all the tomoates while they're green, but I'll be #$*%()%& if I let those critters eat every one of them! lol

Any help appreciated!



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    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 5:06PM
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The squirrels (and possibly raccoons) are thirsty and not interested in tomatoes. Put a bird bath or a container of water near your garden.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 10:46PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I've caught birds swiping ripe tomatoes too but this year I see the squirrels taking them when they are still green. I think it might be for water also so I'm going to try to keep the birdbaths full. If it doesn't, I might give up on tomatoes.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 9:52PM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

I had left a 5 gal pail of water standing in back yard while I was working in front. I stood up just in time to see a squirrel coming out of the hemlock near the pail, run over to it, and pull himself up onto the bail & put head in & drink from it.

It has been dry lately & while I don't like them digging up my tulips & crocuses, how can I complain that an animal needs a drink? I would leave water in flower pot dishes if the squirrels were stealing my tomatoes. Change it daily by rinsing with the hose. Put mosquito dunks in the dishes if you are worried about larvae.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 2:53PM
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I have 3 birdbaths, that I see the squirrels frequent, yet, they still nibble on my tomatoes...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 2:24PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Maybe you should fill the birdbath's with tomato juice.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 10:38AM
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Actually, I sprinkled the used coffee grounds on the soil and the plants themselves all summer. The thief(s) never returned!!

I have about 1 dozen left on the vines!

Thanks for all the help here!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 4:21PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I hope you get to enjoy what's left. Now that the hickory and oak trees have produced a ton of nuts, I've noticed the fruit remaining on the vines. There is no bumper crop but a couple for snacking each day.
And as far as squirrels stealing green tomatoes - well I just checked the tag and that plant happened to be Green Grape. I finally got to try one yesterday.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 11:27AM
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LOL Loretta!
I'm throwing my bitten & bad tomatoes at the base of one of the birdbaths, but it's not stopping them from biting the ones on the vine.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 6:58PM
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Don't wish to sound unsympathetic, but the little beasts are building their winter nests in my attic areas ... I wish they'd go back to the tomatoes!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:26PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I see your point. We also heard some strange noises coming from the attic yesterday. I am hoping if I ignore it, it will go away.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 11:29PM
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Loretta, at the risk of being chastised for hijacking the thread ... If it is squirrels in there, they most likely will not go away until spring, when they and their babies (raised in your attic) will move back to their summer home.

In the meantime, for their winter nest they'll make use of anything you have so thoughtfully placed up there for them: boxes, fabric (they seem to particularly like Barbie clothes), fiberglass insulation ... shavings from the electric wiring insulation (guess they like a little texture in their bedding).

The babies, having been born and reared inside, will think that's their rightful place and, like salmon, will be determined to return every winter to your - or a neighbor's - attic. They will chew through walls to do so. They literally tore out our soffit vents and when we secured those they chewed through the cedar shakes, vapor barrier and sheathing to get into the house.

I used to think squirrels were cute ... now I have to agree with my husband: they're tree rats.

Please don't ignore them.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 8:46AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Thank you Diane. Actually, I don't think they were squirrels. We only heard some suspicious noise for a short time and then nothing since. However, believe me, I couldn't sleep well if I knew they were scampering around.
A neighbor did have a bad problem until they finally put on an addition. They tell stories of how they drove them away for miles and still, they would find there way back in a day or two.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 11:20PM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

We got them out of our attic (until the next time) thusly:

Opened attic hatch & put squirrel-hating cat up there; stood outside & watched squirrels flying out of chewed soffits (she does have her rabies shots)

Fixed entry holes thus discovered & put heavy metal screening over repairs

Important: trimmed back branches from spruce tree that came near house!

Put radio on in attic & tuned to obnoxious rap station

They like stored yarn as much as they like Barbie clothes as a nesting material. And we found loads of sunflower seeds taken from under the bird feeder stashed with the tangled up yarn.

We also have mousetraps up there at this time of year, and yes they do catch mice.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 9:20AM
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I have three dogs and two love to chase squirrels. The squirrels don't venture too far in my yard. As far as birds, try rubber snakes around the stakes. My neighbor suggested it and so far it has scared the birds. It also scared a few guests and my wife. My grandpa used two pie pans but squirrels are too smart for that. They put owls on buildings to keep the birds from nesting. I don't believe in harming the critters but the squirrels will bring fleas in the yard.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 6:28PM
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I had squirrels in the attic too once. They can climb up the metal downspout like it was their own personal ladder, they don't need trees to get to your roof. And they will definitely try to get back in. Once you have the places they were getting in repaired, get a bottle of critter repellent, and spray the OUTSIDE of the house on the repaired places. Freshen it up after the next few rains, and they will move on.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 9:02AM
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cayenne pepper powder works the best! once a week dust the plant with it, and dust the ground around the plant. If it rains wait till the plant is dry dust them again...ever since i used it on my tomatoes i have no problem. squirrels hate pepper i mix some in my bird seed they don't touch it.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 7:06AM
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Thank you so much for this helpful thread! I'm getting ready to put out tomatoes and we have lots of squirrels... DH thinks their SOOOOOOO cute... blech! LOL

I'm going to try upside down tomato planters and cayenne pepper

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 10:02PM
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I am interested in the cayenne pepper powder approach. I am a wildlife trapper, so I am used to taking an approach in which I trap and remove all of the squirrels, and relocate them ten miles away. I can set ten squirrel traps on a property, and when set the right way, I can remove 6 or 7 squirrels in a shot, and that drastically reduces the problem.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 12:52PM
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Some Pepper will keep the away.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 7:48PM
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