Squirrels eat tomato's?

aldaricAugust 11, 2005

Ok. long story short. My top vines have been being striped of leaves, and the fruits have been gnawed on in an extremely rodent like fashion. I'd suspect mice, but they are top vines. My framework connects to my shed, and the shed is under a very large maple tree with known squirrel activity.

On the ground, are what appear to be some sort of pelletized feces, green in color, and they smell of tomato's. Now, I've never seen squirrel feces, but they are about the size of a BB, and I've come up with only one solution to this set of variables.

Do squirrels eat green tomato's and vines?

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bothenjs(z6 KY)

yes they do, I was told 6 years ago it is unusual and usually only occurs during droughts. But squirrels ruin lots of mine every year- they take a bite out of one, don't like it so they try another. They also took all the apricots off my tree this year.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 7:49AM
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Thats good news to know. It certainly has qualified as a drought here. My garden is about the only green area in a few city blocks. I shall have to figure out a way to get these squirrels out. Maybe I'll encourage the dogs to stay outside more to keep the squirrels on edge.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 10:46PM
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John_Dal(z6 IL)

A few days ago I saw a saw a squirell on top of the neighbors storage shed calmly eating one of my tomatoes. I threw a couple of cherry tomatoes at him until he ran away. We have lots of squirells in the neighborhood, and some of the neighbors feed them. So, I guess it's unrealistic to believe that I'll ever be able to get rid of them.

Letting your dogs run in the yard should help. My dog passed away a couple of years ago, but my squirell problem was less when he was alive and patrolling. I cage my tomatoes, and that helps somewhat. Squirells only eat the ones they can easily reach.

Besides squirells, chipmonks ate some of my cherry tomatoes in the past. They tended to pick a tomato and take it to a secluded spot for eating. I have lots of volunteer plants along side of my storage shed as a result. Chipmonks seem to be shy, and therefore tend to be less visable than squirells, so that could be your problem.

My strategy is to plant more tomatoes than I need, and tollerate sharing them with critters.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 11:51AM
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I had the same problem this week, I thought it might be squirrels, or a mouse - but it was only the top of the plant with droppings all around the bottom . The plant was a cherry tomato on my deck, but I found the culprit - a very big ugly looking caterpillar!! Does anyone know what this is?? I am throwing the plant out!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 4:28PM
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Carol_Ann_SoCal(Southern CA)

Hi! I'm a new poster and I just couldn't resist this discussion.

I find it interesting that the one expert found squirrels will only raid tomatoes during drought years. We had record rainfall this year, and this is the first time I've ever had a problem.

I tried netting, but the squirrels only said, thanks for helping us reach the top!

I ended up wrapping the cages with those thin little plastic tablecloths used for picnics & such. The plants are still bearing fruit, but the lack of adequate leaves them in terrible shape.

Next year I want to try a mesh fence around the tomatos, with mesh across the top of the enclosure.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 11:27AM
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whizzer75(z7 Al)

This is the first year I haven't lost about 60% of my tomatos to squirrels. So far not one tomato eaten by a squirrel.
Someone suggested putting blood meal around the plants, so I tried it. I grow in earthboxes. I sprinkle a couple of tablespoonfulls of blood meal on top of the plastic cover and replenish after rain. Blood meal is 14-0-0, so don't put it around plants unless you want lots of foliage.
I saw one squirrel put his front feet on the container, take a sniff and immediately back off.
Keeping fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:27AM
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I'm pretty sure the squirrels are at least tasting the cherry tomatoes here. Fortunately, (or not) we've recently had quite a bit of rain. But I am not sure which of the rodent family I should blame the teeth marks on.....

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 5:41PM
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Saly, you've probably found yourself a tomato hornworm -- big ugly looking caterpillar, grows into a verrry big but rather pretty sphynx moth. Eats like crazy, blends in very well to the plant. Don't throw your plant away! Just pick 'em off - they don't bite or ooze nastiness. (I throw mine up on the roof and let the crows have a field day.) There don't usually seem to be lots on one plant -- I've only ever found one or two.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 8:25PM
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I have the same knawing problem however the critters, whatever they are, are nocturnal. I have completely tented my tomato crop but something has still invaded during the night without seemingly leaving a trace but several destroyed fruits. They are non discriminating attacks, greens as well as almost ripe fruits. How discouraging. Any thought?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 10:55AM
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dilbert(z5 IL)

Leave a bowl of water near your tomatoes for animals to drink and they should stop eating your tomatoes.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 2:42PM
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    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 10:00PM
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whizzer75(z7 Al)

I've tried the water bowl, cayenne pepper on the ground, Garlic and pepper sprayed on tomatos, CDs tied to supports and even hot sauce injected into tomatos. They really enjoyed the injected ones, thought it was salsa.
So far I have lost one tomato since using blood meal.
BTW, I've caught and relocated three in unbaited Havahart traps. They ignore the traps until ants clean up the bait. Go figure !!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 8:34PM
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Finally! Someone to confirm my suspicions! I also live in north Georgia, and I've been trying for over a month to figure out what has been eating my tomatos. I finally decided it was a squirrel(s) the other day when I found that they were eating not only the ones close to the ground, but the ones about mid-way up the plant. I think I've thrown away about as many as I've been able to keep. I was told to just go ahead and pick them once they start to ripen and bring them inside to finish ripening so the critters won't have a feast. Our neighborhood is beside a large wooded area so we have an abundance of squirrels. I've been able to stop the deer from invading by stringing yellow CAUTION tape around the garden, but those squirrels can't read as good as the deer. I think I'll try the bloodmeal if I can find it.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 8:16PM
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whizzer75(z7 Al)

I got blood meal at Home Depot. Vigoro was the brand.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 9:01AM
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We've had a wet summer here, and it hasn't stopped the squirrels from helping themselves to my green and the ripe tomatoes both; they take one bite out of the green ones they pick and then (in disgust, I suppose) smear them around the soil. I also have a raccoon who visits but the main culprit with my tomatoes is for sure the squirrel, I have seen him in action.I took strips of bird netting and tied them around the clusters of green tomatoes with twist-ties; that is the ONLY deterrent that has worked for me.(they also enjoy my peaches, grapes, strawberries,and anything else that strikes their fancy.The only benefit of their greed is that the tomatoes they trashed went to seed and I have lots of unexpected little tomato plants this year, as cute as can be. As far as growing enough to share, my squirrels don't believe in sharing with me.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 1:45PM
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tomatoman(9B E Cen Fl)

Wow, a lot of remedies for squirrel problems. I solved the problem years ago, with a pump pellet gun. I live in the country where it's legal to shoot them. Early morning and evening patrols frequently got me one or two. I freeze them and when I have at least a half dozen, I thaw, clean, skin and present them to my wife who makes squirrel stew served over rice. Very tasty and nutritious. What I really have is a small terrier that patrols the garden.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 10:06PM
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Our cat eats squirrels. The neighbors have them in our yard, but our squirrel population is dwindling since we have two cats outside. I didn't know cats would eat squirrels until we kept finding squirrel tails in the yard. We were kind of in the country though, not a lot of traffic and such.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 7:11PM
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That sounds like an excellent organic control to squirrel pests!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 12:58PM
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i think it's the blackbirds eating my tomato plants

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 3:00PM
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I'd be careful about letting the cat eat squirrels -- they can carry rabies, as well as a host of other diseases. On second thought, unless you have actually seen the cat eat the squirrels, i doubt that is what's eating them, anyway, unless these are very large cats and very small squirrels. More likely, red-tailed hawks or great-horned owls are eating them. I would definately suspect this if you are finding the tails under trees. Hawks and owls are great to have around! (By the way, both the hawks and owls will eat cats, too, so you might want to keep the cats inside, if you can.)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 4:42PM
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I had a small cat and she really enjoyed a nice squirrel dinner. She also enjoyed rabbits. Just keep the cat up on it's shots and deworm every now and then. It's pretty wild seeing a cat drag a rabbit, nearly as big as it is, to a favorite spot and eating it with nothing but a pair of ears and a gal bladder as evidence the next morning.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 8:38PM
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Yes, squirrels eat tomatoes, no drought necessary. I've seen them come down, grab a tomato, take a bite or too and leave it there to rot! Although bb's sound like a good solution to your squirrel problem, the bright green bb sized poop is from the green horned tomato worm's vivacious appetite. They do alot of damage to leaves and fruit overnight. Squirt them directly with a solution of one tablespoon ivory dish soap to a spray bottle of water then pull them off and squish them. The soap and water will kill them but eventually but they cling to the plant pretty good and I want to be sure.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 2:08AM
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I don't know whether squirrels or birds were to blame for pecking holes in the fruit in my garden, but here's how I solved it. I cut off the feet of my wife's panty hose and pull them around the fruit then close with a metal tie. Tip of the day: don't put the panty hose back in the drawer. Squirrels will be the least of your problems.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 3:48PM
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KEEP YOUR CATS INSIDE AND THE SQUIRRELS AND BIRDS AND OTHER ANIMALS SAFE. There are many species of small animals that are going "extinct" due to predation by roaming cats. Cats should be inside unless you take them out on a leash, as all my humane associates do. Alternatively, if you feel your cats must have "free roaming outside" time, you can build them a large outdoor enclosure allowing them "outside" enjoyment, while the protecting your local wildlife.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 5:16PM
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Barsini, this thread is about "SQUIRRELS EATING TOMATOES". Take the ferrel cat issue to a different thread.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 8:13AM
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Squirrels hate certain smells. If the squirrel nest is in your tree, take a heavy duty squirt bottle with water, hot sauce, garlic juice, peppermint, spearmint and squirt the nest and area. The smell helps them learn to move elsewhere. I use other things also, but it is spring so grab what you can for now that is available in your cupboard or yard. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:33PM
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We have ample water in our yard for birds and squirrels--still, the squirrels eat the green tomatoes, and in the process break the plants (they have been caught in the act!) We found a way to foil the deer--who were eating the plants--pour human urine around the plants--a tip from the gardening folk at Home Depot. This, however, does nothing for the doggoned squirrels. The blood meal idea sounds like it has merit--and elsewhere, I saw suggestion of coffee grounds around the plants. Any further reporting of success with these? Or other suggestions? Or suggestions where to buy the blood meal?

Our dog ignores the squirrels, not in the least interested. She will chase the deer -- all 9 lbs. of her. She doesn't scare them much, however. I think they laugh at her.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 8:40AM
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I have tons of squirrels in my yard and they are always in my garden having snacks. It's so annoying. Last year I lost a good portion of tomatoes thanks to them. If they are going to pick and eat my delicious tomatoes, they could at least have the courtesy not to waste any!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 6:20PM
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Yall, get chili pepper or some other very hot powder and put around and sprinkle on the plant.. they won't come near them.. This also works to keep them away from sunflowers, gardens, bird feeders.. They do not like the smell or taste and will stall away but it has to be jalape type pepper powder. They have premixed powder called squirrel away but i found dollar store pepper mix to be affective too.. GRRRRRRRR..

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 11:39AM
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I was losing most of my ripening tomatoes to something. Started with the lower ones but as soon as any (even half way up the vine) began to ripen, I would find it half eaten on the ground. Tried puttig VHS tape dangling all around, tried hanging pie pans, used chili and ceyenne pepper, tried moth balls. Nothing was stopping it. Now they were even eating the green ones. Finally saw a squirrel eating a nice juicy, starting to ripen one. Shot him over a period of two days with a pellet gun at least 5 times. All he did was drop the tomatoe, jump and pick the tomatoe back up and continue to eat. Finally took him out with a 22. Been over a week and have not lost another tomatoe. I live in the woods and there are lots of squirrels. I believe this one squirrel just got a tast for tomatoes. Go figure?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 10:05AM
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Yes, squirrels do eat tomatoes and I have found a foolproof solution - well, so far anyway! Before your tomatoes start to ripen, get yourself a supply of Ziploc-type bags - the dollar store variety is fine. Snip off a corner of each bag to allow for drainage of condensation, etc. Slip each tomato inside a bag and close the bag as snugly as possible around the stem of the tomato. It can be a lot of work if you have a lot of tomatoes, but your tomatoes are saved, and you have beat the squirrels!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 10:31AM
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Around here, the possums love to eat tomatoes. My only sucessful year, I lost several to them.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 7:40PM
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I use plastic fencing to keep the birds out of my tomatoes, but I have a nocturnal animal that will chew through the fencing and eat ripening tomatoes. I installed an electric fence, but this thing is smart and used my water hose connection to crawl over the fence and chew another hole in the plastic fence. Is a squirrel that smart?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:54AM
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I am in southern California and I'm having the same problem with my first garden. I have orange and grapefruit trees and the squirrels love them, but they haven't touched my garden. I did find bird feathers around the strawberries (and missing strawberries) when I first planted them, but once everything matured, no problems. I have 12 huge tomato plants, 6 different varieties, planted quite close to each other (note to self: less plants, farther away next year), and one end of the tomato patch is close to a giant hedge that surrounds my yard. The first tomatoes to start to ripen were the Romas, and they have grown quite large (the size of a medium beefsteak). I've harvested one Roma and several cherry tomatoes, and have been watching a couple near-ripe Romas every day. I looked at them this morning and they were fine. When I went out to water this evening, the two I'd been watching were both picked! I found them on the ground between my tomato patch and the big hedge, with teeth marks in the ends. Evidently someTHING picked the tomatoes (which were partially inside the cage and not easily accessible), carried them toward the hedge, and dropped them. The only damage to the tomatoes were bite marks on one end of each tomato.

I'm thinking rats or oppussums -- both live in the giant hedge.

The only change in my garden is a new hawk family that has nested in the neighbor's tree. The hawks sit on the electrical wires right above my garden.

My question is, how do I protect my tomatoes from the thieves without hurting the hawks and other birds or my dogs?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 2:51AM
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Squirrels have been eating all my tomatoes, they started with the ones starting to ripen and have been eating all the green ones. I had 30 tomatoes at the beginning of the week, now I'm down to maybe 10. I have tried two different kinds of repellents from Lowe's but no luck. I even tried putting ground cayenne pepper around the plants, on the plants, I even tried putting a soapy water ring around each plant, I tried the blood meal, and coffee grounds from Starbucks. I even hung up a squirrel feeder away from my tomato plants hoping that it will deter them away from my tomatoes. I just can't seem to win against these tree rats. Any ideas? I'm willing to try just about anything.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 9:00AM
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Nothing works to stop the squirrels from eating the tomatoes once they have developed a taste for them. This is true with all fruit.

This year I came home one day to about 50 unripe peaches barely gnawed on and 2 squirrels sitting around the tree.

The only remedy is a good hunting neighborhood cat, trapping or a pellet gun. Cayenne pepper or blood meal doesn't stop them. Once they have acquired a taste for whatever fruit it is, they will not stop. A few days ago, there were four that had all gotten the same urge to get into my tomato plants. I saw the plants moving around from inside and knew it was them (they did the same with my peach trees earlier in the year and in the process broke off all the branches of one of the trees). They will do whatever it takes to get them down, including breaking off all your tomato branches leaving you with a worthless plant. I would suggest taking care of them as soon as you notice otherwise they will destroy your entire garden.

Three were in the garden a couple days ago and two didn't make it past the pellet gun. The third ran away. Even though he knew that he was going to get shot at and he saw his squirrel buddies get shot, he came back less than 15 minutes later. They are willing to risk their lives for a meal of their newly developed taste.

Get yourself a good pellet gun or trap them and take them at least 10 miles away. You need at least 1000fps to do the trick. They sell a pretty good 1200fps one at Dicks for $80. They will survive almost any non-vital shot, so aim well.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Well I tried the ziploc bag idea and that didn't stop the squirrels either. They just chewed through the bags and then took the tomatoes but left the trash behind. I finally decided to just buy fencing and bricks from Lowes. I pretty much caged my tomatoes in to keep the squirrels from climbing in. This morning I saw a squirrel on top of the cage trying to figure out how to get in. Bricks line the inside of the fence to keep them from digging under the fence and getting in. Yes they do dig, they dug up my cucumber plants. I think I finally outwitted these tree rats!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 5:17PM
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torquill(z9/sunset15 CA)

The clever nocturnal animal that followed the water line in sounds more like a roof rat to me... squirrels are definitely not nocturnal critters. Roof rats, on the other hand, are far too clever for anybody's good, and they can climb, jump, and scramble over almost any obstacle.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 8:12PM
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I haven't seen any roof rats. I have however, (before I put in the fence) saw squirrels carry away my tomatoes. I got up one morning to check on my plants and there was a squirrel running off with a tomato. A few days before I put the fence up, I was doing dishes and looked out the kitchen window and saw a squirrel dig up my newly sprouted cucumber plant and carry it away. They dig up and eat my potted flowers. They are destructive and I've notified our local game warden--we have to because we live on a military base and can't take matter into our own hands.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:42AM
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Just a quick comment. Has anyone tried placing moth balls around the plants... I been told this is a good repel for most animals and bugs.. Anyone tired it?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:52PM
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I've been at my house for about 5 years now and had a garden starting in the second year. The first two years or so I never had a problem. The last two though have been ridiculous with the squirrels. I normally have about 6 to 8 plants that would normally produce about anywhere from 40 to 70 tomatoes but last year was so bad I got maybe 8 or 10 so growing enough to share isn't an option. I shouldn't have to share anyway since I do all the work.

I've tried pepper spray on the fruits, store bought granular deterrant (blood meal, garlic, rotten egg mix), trapping and shooting. The pepper spray just made them take "test" bites all around the tomato I guess looking for a spot that wasn't spicy. The granular deterrant didn't do anything as far as I could tell but smell nasty to me. I had a small "squirrel" sized live trap I started using a year or two ago. The damn thing was too small for the squirrels because they couldn't fit in to get the bait. Instead they would just reach in from the side and take it (claw marks in the peanut butter). I only ever caught one that way and drove it several miles away which is just way to time consuming. Shooting them with a BB gun also didn't work great. I only hit one with a fatal shot once and the other times it just stings them. I know a better gun might work better but I also live in an area where neighbors may not like it if they realized I was shooting a BB gun.

This year I decided to crack down because in addition to the tomatoes they eat the aluminum hangers that keep the chain link part of my fence on the top rail (witnessed that myself) and they plant acorns all over my yard. Its starting to look like a miniature oak forrest. I bought a big live trap and bait it with peanut butter and peanuts. After I get one I take it into the shed where no one will see and take care of it with the BB gun close up. I do not take pleasure in doing this but I'm just so fed up with their destruction. As far as the fence goes, it's been there for 50+ years and they've only started eating it the last few years. Why now? I've gotten 7 so far with the trap and kill method. I live in a suburban area with a fair amount of squirrels but I figure they have to be somewhat territorial and that if I kill enough in my immediate area I'll "thin the heard." After all my parents live a few houses away and they never have a problem so I would think they are somewhat territorial. Sure enough though, I came home yesterday to find my first ripe tomato still on the vine with a silver dollar sized hole in it, even after killing 7 of them. It's like they wait for it to ripen and the day I would have picked they decided to do it for me. I'm going to keep up with my current method and I'll just keep doing it all year if I have to but the next time I go to the store I'm getting rat traps to supplement the live trap and I'll put them all over the garden and let them die after getting their necks snapped. I'm even thinking about leaving their bodies around the gardens as some kind of warning to the rest of them. Maybe if they smell a rotting squirrel it'll keep them away.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 1:26PM
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It's heartening to know that I'm not the only gardener out for BLOOD. My 2 lone beefsteak plants, in our small square foot garden, are succumbing to the nasty wilt disease again this year, and the freaking rodents (in my case I'm pretty sure it's chipmunks since we found a dead one that apparently got squished between 2 boards :) are eating the tomatoes, which are trying to ripen before the disease kills the plant, as soon as they blush.

I want to kill them! Death to the rodents!!!! Chipmunks, squirrels, whatever!!

Tomorrow we'll try sprinkling my husbands homemade habenero dried pepper flakes. If that doesn't work, I'm heading to Kmart for an uzi.

Ahh. I feel better after ranting --- until I see the next gnawed tomato, that is :(

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:39PM
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Hello! I took a photo of devastation that I just discovered to my tomatoes. I am so upset I can't even describe it. Does this look like rodent damage based on others' experiences?

Here is a link that might be useful: damage to my tomatoes

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 6:11PM
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I too have squirrels eating my tomatoes. This is the first year for my raised bed garden and I've always grown tomatoes in a half whiskey barrel before. I use Ross Bird Netting, which is fine and made of nylon, and it's always deterred the squirrels before. But now, since I have it stretched taut on the frame around the raised bed, the little beasts can pull it and chew through it. If I put anything on the soil surface to try to deter them, they climb the net and go in from the top. I bought hot pepper wax spray and some sort of squirrel repellent with clove and garlic oil in it today, but the net is so fine I'm pretty sure they won't care that something unpleasant is on it.

And yes, for those people who'd like to say it's because they're thirsty, save it. They love my tomatoes because they don't just take a bite, they eat 80% of it or carry the whole fruit away with them. There's plenty of water in my yard.

I live in the city and I'm getting close to buying rat traps for them. I am not going to humane trap them and drive them anywhere. I couldn't shoot an animal and I wouldn't want to for fear I'd put out a neighbor's window or something. Poison is not an option because I don't want a neighborhood dog getting one.

I've used mouse traps in my house, but since we have raccoons and opossums and rats, I'm not sure the only thing I'd get is a squirrel in the trap.

I'm really discouraged and angry.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 11:38PM
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I have 16 tomato plants on one side of my garden bed and just as many cucumbers on the other side of same bed. No rodent has even touched the cucumbers but now that my tomatoes are ripening I am losing them all to something. I had no idea that squirrels would eat them. But huge 2 lb tomatoes are being half eaten by something. In 5 years I have never seen a squirrel in our yard or trees. I do see rats but never by the garden. I have yet to catch anything but grasshoppers and beetles munching on the leftovers.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:54PM
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try picking up some racoon urine that hunters use to cover up their smell on their boots. keeps the squirrels away every time because the racoons will eat squirrels.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:01AM
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June 2011
well, I have relocated 32 squirrels in three weeks and get up this morning to find six more running all over the place. They have stripped all my peach trees, my apricot and now they are attacking the nectarines. One stripped an entire branch off my Mallow tree this morning and ate it I have set up a feeding station.. they eat there, and when they're done they move onto the trees and my garden. I tried the BB gun but they run then return... I'm at my wits end. All this effort to produce a small orchard, and garden and they wipe it clean. The don't even share..I'm in Southern California and it is hot here but I also keep water out for the wildlife so give me a break squirrels. I guess I'll try the blood meal, maybe a cone around the trees, and if all else fails.. I'l get a dog.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 10:48PM
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July 2011

My 3rd year for a garden and I have entered into a losing battle with squirrels. It all began with bunnies which my husband resolved with good fencing and motion sensor water deterrents. But, then like vampires, the squirrels got a taste of my tomatoes and they can't get enough. I don't care what deterrent I put out: cayenne pepper, motion sensor animals and water spayers. They want it all now and nothing will stop them. Short of building Fort Knox around my garden,I seem to be doing nothing but throwing away money on these creatures. Where are the coyotes when you need them?

And, yet right across the street is a big beautiful garden with every vegetable imaginable and there is no fence, no snail bait, and my neighbors have the nerve to flaunt their good fortune by picking their produce and leaving it next to the plants. Not a single bite on any of them. I think I am going to have to draw my white flag and quietly admit defeat or send my husband out in his cami's. Guess I will just humbly take my grocery bag to the produce section of my grocery store.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 12:18AM
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Greetings fellow tomato lovers! And greetings to all gardeners who start to twist a red tomato off the vine but find a terrible hole in it. What takes bites off our tomatoes? Rats and squirrels! Especailly when it is hot weather.
I used to be a nice guy. I used to love furry little rodents. I used to cringe at the thought of any animal getting hurt in a trap. But today I am a changed man! I am a neanderthal who is glad to get revenge. One year I caught 28 rabbits, mostly in a have-a-heart trap. I hauled them ten miles away and let them go. But a few I catch in a conibear 110 trap. I have several cottontails sitting on top of my computer CRT along with some other nick-knacks. These cottontail fur balls remind me what a mighty hunter I am.
For those of you who are still gentle souls, please do not watch this:

But if you would like to learn how to dispatch a rodent, this is how to do it. You can find these on the internet by Google searching "Conibear Trap" They only cost around $10. You will have to also buy the long lever-plyers to set it. I don't have the lever-plyers but I have strong neanderthal hands.
Conibear 110 is the right size for a rabbit or squirrel.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 3:49PM
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I am trying to figure out what is eating my tomatoes and also all the peaches off my tree. It's isn't deer, but it could be squirrels. My question is, will the squirrels take the entire tomato? Because whatever is taking my tomatoes takes the entire tomato shortly before it is going to ripen. They seem to prefer the big beefsteak tomatoes more than the cherries. As everyone seems to talk about the squirrels just taking a bite, I wonder if I have something else like a raccoon?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:02AM
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I am another connibear fan the 110 's i have don't need aspreader. single spring for $3.95 At www.fntpost.com !They work on groundhogs also,just put it over holes.Ther's always more than one. usually a family.Once groundhogs are done raccoons ,skunks ,oppossums move in. Lets not forget the rabbits and squirrels. I have a fenced in yard with aluminum slats . Critters dug under in two spots. Every yearThat's where I set my traps.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 5:12PM
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We had squirrels in our attic and hired a professional to trap and remove them. The man told me that you have to take them AT LEAST 12 miles away or else they can find their way back. Those of you who are trapping and setting them loose might want to make sure you take them more than 12 miles away. They are determined critters.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Well, well. I pulled in the driveway tonight and there he was. Mr.Squirrel with a big green tomato in his cheeks just staring at me without a care in the world. Yes, Virginia squirrels take tomatoes and climb up trees and eat them.

I couldn't figure out what was eating my tomatoes this year. I'll be darn

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 11:40PM
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This is my first year for growing 'maters here in Southern California's Mojave Desert... and it's been one pest after another. Last month, it was big ugly Norwegian rats (half their body is a thick hairless tail)... eeeeewwww! I killed 7 with a small plastic spring trap. Now that the Norwegians are gone, the squirrels have moved in. These squirrels are the fearless variety and are taking over the yard. They seem to be too fast for my little plastic rat trap. I need a trap that's Rocky Squirrel proof.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 4:09PM
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I live in Toledo, Ohio (with this past summer having been wildly rainy) and have had a garden every year since forever, but this is the first time I've battled squirrels for my tomatoes (Early Girl and Roma). Maddening! I've tried the cayenne pepper, wax pepper spray, my neighbor's weirdo owl with the bobble head, and those pinwheels that spin in the breeze -- all to no avail. I'm not prepared to shoot the squirrels (no BB gun or firearms at hand -- although I have to admit I've longed for them), and I may just have to concede defeat for this season (but I'll try the corncobs-and-nuts distraction first). I'm wondering what I can plant to protectively flank the tomatoes in the garden next year. So far, the squirrels have ignored my arugula and green and yellow wax beans; is there any other garden produce that we like and they despise? I'd grow stuff I don't like myself if it would deter them. Geez -- when she was behind the wheel, my sister used to try to run down squirrels, much to my dismay -- now I understand . . .

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Have you tried hawks? Seriously yesterday DH and I wrapped our plants in netting to see what we would see. After seeing all the replies about squirrels, rats, chipmunks, worms etc. we thought it was worth a try! Not only were we getting the big munch but also the little holes and disappearing tomatoes. So I was sitting on the back porch and I heard a crash near our newly netted plants and there was a hawk soaring onto a branch in the woods! After discarding the thought that HE was after my plants I realized that maybe, just maybe he got a critter who was trying in vain to climb the netting! Miracle or fluke - who cares? I have my hopes up and will report back.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 1:35PM
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As our garden is starting to take off with cucumbers and tomatoes I am preparing for another battle with the squirrels this summer. I was reading this thread to get some ideas, clearly the simple solutions don't seem to work. This sounds stupid and would probably just attract more squirrels but has anyone ever tried laying out cheap supermarket tomatoes and cucumbers in their garden? It sounds counterproductive as they would just come back for more and then most likely start feasting on the garden fruit but I don't want to lost to many fruit this summer.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 9:29AM
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I have been nurturing my patio tomato plant..this morning I noticed the two that were turning red are gone. I would not have suspected the squirrel, but I think they are the usual suspects for most of my yard crimes! Thanks to everyone for the tips. I agree with other posts about the cats outside. No one could love cats more than I do..but for their health & safety and the safety of all the little animals that don't stand a chance against them, keep your cats indoors.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 2:37PM
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I was thinking no kill traps, but after reading that you had relocated over thirty squirrels, I guess that's not such a good idea.

I know most of my family would suggest a lawn chair and a .22 rifle, but I'm not as keen to that plan.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:49PM
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I am laughing my head off because I am having the same battle. My prize Gold Medal tomatoes that I have been anxiously waiting all summer for have been attacked, both the lower ones and the higher ones. I put rigid meshing around them and the bugger chewed thru them too! Personally, I'm thinking raccoon, but who knows. I'm finding cherries, green and ripe all over the ground with the insides sucked out. Other tomatoes they aren't bothering. It seems the tomatoes that are in the ground next to a fence are at the most risk. My container tomato plants have had fewer attacks. It's not fair! I am going to try blood meal for next year, altho permanently eliminating them has crossed my mind! I have now picked most of my tomatoes and brought them in otherwise I won't have one to eat! AAAHHH!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:46AM
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Along with Squirrels my dog will eat tomatoes.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 5:52PM
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I have a huge squirrel population what with the oak trees (acorns)and a pecan tree across the street.
I am thinking of being proactive and building a wire cage around some of my tomato plants.
How small do the openings in the fence need to be to exclude most squirrels? (e.g. is a 1" grid small enough?)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:30AM
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So far the only thing that sort of works has been lining my pot with lots and lots of gumballs from a gumball tree.

But I will try red pepper wax next since the squirrels have tried a second tomato.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 11:10PM
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