Skip to Content

How Do I Keep Animals From Eating My Tomatoes – 10 Tips

As you start a new garden, you don’t want to look over your crop and see that it is disappearing! Immediately you start getting online to answer one of the most important questions for any gardener: How do I keep animals from eating my Tomatoes? 

You can stop animals from eating your tomatoes with everything from physical structures, like fences, to products like pesticides. It will be up to you to decide what method suits you and your lifestyle best.

While you may not be able to save every tomato that you grow, this article will offer some suggestions on how to stop animals from enjoying your tomatoes before you do! 

10 Ways To Stop Animals From Eating Tomatoes In The Garden

When it comes to animals in your garden, there are several solutions that you can try to stop animals from eating your tomatoes in the garden.

Build A Wooden Fence

Fencing is one of the best ways to keep animals out of your garden.

A simple fence with only a few pieces will keep larger animals, like deer, out of your garden. This may be enough if you’re not very handy and are most concerned with extensive wildlife.

If you’re aiming to keep smaller animals, such as rabbits or raccoons, out of your garden, you’re going to have to get more creative. Your fence will need to be better made.

You can try attaching lattice pieces to your fence to keep at medium and small-sized wildlife, which is an additional step.

Use Chicken Wire

Chicken wire has very small holes, so squirrels and other small animals can’t squeeze between it. Plus, chicken wire is easy to mold, so you can also make it into a cage or fence shape. 

Be careful to cover the top of your tomato plants if you plan on forming your chicken wire into a cage; the squirrels can climb the cage and get inside!

Use Chicken Wire And A Fence

The best way to keep all animals from eating tomatoes is to build a fence with chicken wire attached to it.

A fence is a great way to keep larger animals, like deer, away from your tomato plants and other plants in your garden area.

The fence won’t keep out any smaller animals, though, so you need to add something else to your garden to keep your plants safe.

Chicken wire is, again, a great choice to keep out smaller animals because they can’t slip through the rungs of the fence.

It could feel like a chore to have to build a fence and then add chicken wire, but it will ensure that you enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Use Raised Garden Beds 

Raised garden beds are popular with those who want a different garden, but they can also keep some wildlife out of your tomatoes.

Raised garden beds can be anywhere from a few inches to about a foot tall, discouraging animals from climbing into them.

If an animal is approaching your tomatoes and doesn’t want to climb, the raised garden beds can be a good way to deter them.

You can add a small raised fence to make it more difficult for the animals to climb in. This fence does not have to be the size of a usual fence. A few inches will do as an added barrier.

Plant Your Tomatoes In Pots

You probably want your tomatoes to grow as big as possible in your garden, but pots may be a good solution if animals are an issue.

Deer, tall animals, can still reach tomatoes planted in pots, but smaller animals will not want to climb into the pot to get to your tomatoes.

Possums and raccoons most likely won’t work to get your tomatoes, but those pesky squirrels in your neighborhood may enjoy the added challenge.

Buy Commercial Repellent Sprays

Repellent sprays are good for keeping squirrels and other animals out of your tomato plants.

Repellents can come in different types, but the choice that you will have to make first is if you want them to be poisonous or not. If you have cats and dogs, you will want one that is not harmful to pets.

You can take a trip to the home improvement store to see what kind of repellents they have in stock; you may need to try a few different ones to see what works – but at that point, it might be too late!

Use Homemade Repellent Sprays

Repellent sprays can be made of chili peppers, which are irritating and stops animals from touching your tomatoes.

The easiest way to make this concoction is to mix chili flakes or peppers with some water and put it in a spray bottle. 

Since animals will need to bump their nose right into the tomatoes to eat them, they won’t like the smell and irritation.

Try Liquid Fence Specifically 

If building an actual fence isn’t your thing, you can try a repellent like Liquid Fence.

Liquid Fence is a repellent alternative to an actual fence, but you can also try other repellents. 

Liquid Fence repeals smaller animals, like rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and other wildlife from your garden.

This is a name brand repellent that won’t harm animals or the ground or soil, making it a safer alternative to other repellents on the market. 

Do your research before picking a repellent of any kind, so you know that it works and won’t hurt the wildlife around your house. 

Try A Scarecrow Or Owl Statue 

Scarecrows and owl statues are commonly used to keep animals away from gardens.

Farmers have used dummy objects for hundreds of years to keep animals away from their crops, so it’s evident that they work!

You can easily make or purchase a scarecrow to put in your garden. If he’s cute enough, he may even look like a decoration while doing its job!

Use Your Dog Or Cat To Guard Your Gardens

Pets are a great way to keep animals away.

Don’t underestimate the usefulness of your cat and dog to protect your gardens outside.

Dogs that guard houses will bark at any sign of movement, whether it is a deer or a rabbit. The wildlife will run off before sampling your tomatoes.

Cats cannot scare off deer as easily as dogs can, but cats can take care of smaller problem animals like birds, squirrels, and chipmunks.

What Animals Eat Tomatoes In The Garden 

It can be exciting when you see tomatoes start to grow, but animals eat them even before they become ripe!

The following are a few animals that find your tomatoes to be a delicacy:

  • Deer
  • Squirrels
  • Birds
  • Chipmunks
  • Possums
  • Skunks
  • Raccoons

Of course, some tomatoes will be easier to reach for some animals than others, depending on where you plant your tomatoes!

Your tomato plants on a second-story porch will be safe from deer, but they aren’t safe from more agile animals like birds and squirrels. 

What Is Digging Up My Tomato Plants

Squirrels are a major issue because they can dig up tomato plants. Like raccoons and possums, other clawed animals may also be digging up your gardens.

Dug up tomato plants can be as bad as eaten tomatoes. Even if an animal doesn’t eat your tomatoes, your tomatoes could quickly die or rot if the root system is disturbed or ruined. 

If you see that your tomato plants are dug up, you can assume that squirrels or other smaller animals do it.

You can’t always see or know what kind of animal is digging up your tomato plants, which is another reason you need to protect them!