Tomato plants are popular garden plants, which are more coveted by many people. They are known for their delicious fruits, but the stems and leaves have a different smell and clammy feel, which some people find unpleasant to touch and smell. Nevertheless, many animals consume their leaves and fruits. You will tell which creature has eaten your tomatoes based on the signs of chew marks, footprints, droppings, and more.
What Animal Eats Tomato Plants?
These animals can be adorable when in the wildlife’s backyard, but they can also cause a lot of gardening problems. They are omnivorous and love seeds and nuts, which are unfortunately abundant in tomato plants. Likewise, they are common if your yard is near the wooded area because they prefer building their houses out of fallen logs and piles of leaves.
As incredibly agile climbers and jumpers, chipmunks can be challenging to control as they can jump many fences. They feed at dawn and only eat tomatoes, leaving the major plant part alone. Typically, this may be frustrating because they damage the plants.
Like chipmunks, squirrels are agile gymnasts and can climb on the plants and move through with ease. They are omnivores and even prefer to steal some tomatoes early in the morning. Placing a mesh cage over tomato plants is recommended as this is a feeder resistant to squirrels when they become a big problem. Sometimes putting a fake owl or snake nearby can work too, but squirrels can get used to anything quickly. This means you need to change the type and position of the animal.
3. Local birds
Depending on the location, the local birds may be the culprit. Often when you notice more top-to-bottom damage to the vine fruits high, this means the birds are trying to taste the tomatoes. Also, the pecking damage becomes a very distinctive and deep groove that appears to originate from the beak.
The usual way to prevent this is to place a mesh or net on top, similar to the squirrels. Typically, offering more bird-friendly plants in other garden parts, like marigolds and sunflowers or other local seed plants, can promote garden biodiversity and increase pollination by protecting valuable fruits and vegetables.
Marmots are the chaotic eaters among the animals. They often trample on the tomato plants and often branched out into peas, corn, and beans in search of fruit. They are a common nuisance, which can destroy an entire garden if left unrestricted.
Groundhogs are difficult to control if they are living in ridged furrows at the entrance to the holes. They are wily and go underground quickly, so the only option is to relocate and trap them. It is recommended to allow the local professional to do this in the most humane way possible.
Rabbits are tomato plant-eaters, which cut the leaves into pieces without leaving the jagged edges. Also, they eat fruits and can strip seedlings to the ground. Typically, rabbits eat in the evening, early in the morning, or at night. They live in green areas and do not travel much, and feed close to their burrows. A chicken wire fence or hardware can be effective, but a fence needs to be firmly secured to the ground so that rabbits cannot crawl under it.
Plastic owls or artificial snakes can frighten rabbits and sometimes smell odorous substances like commercial deterrents or pepper spray that can deter them. Also, fencing the tomato garden with the electric rabbit fence is the possible solution. This electric fence consists of two wires, which shock the rabbits’ ears, startling but do not injure the animals.
Deer are the regular eaters of tomato plants because they are easy to target for their appetites. They graze through all the tomato parts, leaving a little behind. To conserve energy, deer must eat about seven pounds of vegetation a day. They rarely feed in your yard, but their tracks give a different story.
If you are worried about the deer in the tomato yard, very smelly yard deterrents can deter them within a short period. This is short-lived, as deer are intelligent and can get used to unusual smells. Typically, the dog’s best deterrent is sniffing, and barking is excellent to ensure that the deer does not return to the tomato plants.
Read more about Deer: Does Deer Eat Roses? How to Shoo It Away and Protect Your Flowers
These animals can cause severe damage to the tomato plants and are the familiar gardeners’ pests. They’re the common culprit when whole plants are cut down because they chew the leaves and stems. Another voles’ evidence is the narrow furrows in the leaves, which arise from the two front teeth of the animal.
The best method to prevent them from eating your tomato plants is to destroy their local tunnels. They are located in grassy areas or leaves near the yard. The advantage is that voles are controlled very quickly because they are attracted by hawks and owls, dominating the population. An added benefit of this is that these predators also keep the population of other species on this list.
Raccoons are the smartest animals in the garden when eating tomato plants, although squirrels are not far behind. They are difficult to control because they are avid climbers with skillful hands. An effective raccoon fence should be four feet high and bury other food in the soil to prevent them from digging holes that can be challenging to maintain and install.
The right way to protect tomato plants from raccoons is to prevent them from making nests in your garden. By keeping pets’ food inside and covering the boxes well, you can prevent them from getting very close to people and prevent them from becoming dependent on neighbors for easy feeding.
It may be frustrating when animals eat the tomato plants after working very hard in the field. With the above list, you can know these animals and know how to get rid of them. The best thing is to scare them from harming tomato plants. Preventive measures are better, like providing other alternatives, false predators, and highly scented deodorants. It can be worthwhile to have a positive relationship with the animals in your garden, even when they are in the yard, which will ultimately result in healthier soil and larger plants.