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How To Keep Squirrels Away From Tomato Plants

Have you ever gone to pick your tomatoes, only to find out your neighborhood squirrels cleaned you out? You are not alone, and today we’ll look at what you can do to keep squirrels away from tomato plants.

Squirrel eating a tomato

Why do squirrels eat tomatoes?

While squirrels love ripe tomatoes in general, they’ll attack both green and ripe ones if they are thirsty. There’s a fairly easy fix for this: just place a water source away from the garden. That way, they won’t be eating tomatoes just because they are thirsty.

Adding a birdbath will do double duty: let the birds bathe and water for the squirrels.

How To Keep Squirrels Away From Tomato Plants

So, now you put a water source by your tomatoes, but squirrels are still feasting on your harvest. What else can you do to stop squirrels from eating your tomatoes?

I asked my Facebook followers, and here are some of their ideas: 

  1. solar electric fencing
  2. bird netting
  3. sprinkle hot pepper on them, or Tabasco sauce (cayenne pepper is good too)
  4. hang a plastic owl on a plant hook near the tomatoes: it’ll swing around in the breeze and the squirrels will stay away
  5. cage your tomatoes 
  6. get a Jack Russell Terrier (or another dog): dogs keep all squirrels, deer, and rabbits out of the yard! I think just their scent on the property does wonders.
  7. put out food for them as well as water: they are most likely hungry and especially thirsty with the heat of summer
  8. fence your tomatoes or garden in with 2 ft of one-inch chicken wire
  9. buy cheap feed and give them scraps (be careful if you do this: they’ll get used to it and come to expect it
  10. put dog hair around all  your plants ( I personally don’t like this, as I don’t want dog hair around my food, but may work for others)
  11. place mothballs into an empty plastic water bottle and stand it up close by. They will run away. Animals can’t touch the mothballs and get hurt since they are in a bottle, but the smell deters them. While the mothballs are not on the ground, we don’t actually recommend this method, as rain can drive the moth ball toxins into the ground and affect your crips.

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More ways to prevent squirrels from eating tomatoes

Placing some noisemakers in your garden is very beneficial.
  • I have a friend who keeps an outdoor radio playing all summer long in his garden. HE never has trouble with rabbits, squirrels, and deer.
  • wind chimes are also great noisemakers

Try adding some shiny objects around the garden: pinwheels, metal tape, disposable aluminum baking tins, etc.

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Squirrels are not the only problems tomatoes will suffer in your garden. Check out these common tomato problems and learn how to fix them. 

A squirrel holding a tomato

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Sunday 16th of May 2021

Windchimes don't deter the squirrels in my backyard. They climb right past them getting to the bird feeders. I can be within a few feet of them and they just look at me as if to say thanks for the food.

Barb K

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

@Adriana, I tried all the above suggestions and none work.They dig around the dog hair I placed in garden same with mothballs, I kept my radio playing all night only to find squirrels dug up my plant bulbs. I hung aluminum pie pans around my flowers which was a waste of time.The plastic owl idea does nothing. I tried putting netting around my tomatoes, they chewed through the netting and chewed up the tomatoes. Wind-chimes don't work, I have 2 set up in the yard they do not deter squirrels, whoever said squirrels are cute & cuddly is a mystery they are destructive rodents


Tuesday 18th of May 2021

If you had the same windchimes for a long time, it's possible they got used to them, and find another way to keep squirrels away.

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