Squirrels are undeniably cute that much is certain – but when you find that they’ve been sneaking bites of your freshly-grown tomatoes, that cuteness fades. Unfortunately for vegetable gardeners and farmers alike, squirrels are notorious culprits when eating the fruits and vegetables from your garden.

It’s common to find one tomato with a single bite taken out; sometimes, even an entire tomato is missing. If you suspect that a squirrel is causing damage to your vegetable crops, it’s time to take action.

Fortunately, you can use plenty of clever squirrel deterrents to protect your tomatoes from these sneaky rodents. You can start by keeping your plants well hydrated; animals will often seek alternative water sources, like the vegetables in our garden, if they become thirsty.

Putting barriers like metal fences or chicken wires around your plants is also a good idea so squirrels can’t access them directly.

For more creative solutions, think about using things like white vinegar, cayenne pepper powder, or plastic hawks as deterrents or even adding motion-activated sprinklers, which will drench any intruders who come near.

Here are 10 Ways To Keep Birds\Squirrels Out Of My Tomatoes Way

1. Dogs

A pet dog may be the solution for gardeners fed up with squirrels pillaging their tomatoes. After all, dogs naturally want to chase and bark at animals such as squirrels. However, suppose you think your pup might run out of your yard or harm pesky rodents.

In that case, there is another way to use your four-legged friend’s abilities: by collecting the fur from when you brush them and putting it near your tomatoes to act as a natural repellent.

Dog hair is an effective deterrent for many pest animals, such as gophers, chipmunks, groundhogs, deer, skunks, and rabbits. Therefore by having dog hair close to your precious plants, you will have a greater chance of keeping those annoying critters away from them.

Not only that, but you can use this natural repellent multiple times since brushing the dog periodically also ensures that they maintain good hygiene in the process.

2. Netting

One of the most effective ways to keep birds and squirrels away from your tomatoes is by using netting over the plants. This is a great way to prevent critters from getting close enough to eat your tomatoes since it will be a physical barrier between them and the vegetables. Furthermore, netting also protects from rain, hail, and other weather conditions.

Another way to keep birds and squirrels away from your tomatoes is by using noise deterrents. This can include wind chimes, aluminum pie plates, or even wind-activated devices that produce loud noises when they detect movement in the area.

These methods make it difficult for critters to get close enough to your tomatoes without being scared off by the sudden noise.

3. Fencing

Using fences is one of the most reliable methods for keeping birds and squirrels away from your tomatoes. You can install a wire fence or built-in fencing around the perimeter of your tomato plot or build cages for each individual tomato plant.

This is an effective way to keep critters away and protect your tomatoes, but it’s important to ensure the fence is sturdy enough to withstand animals’ attempts to climb over it.

You can also try using repellents to keep birds and squirrels away from your tomatoes. Several commercial sprays are available that use different scents and tastes to repel animals, such as garlic, capsaicin, and hot pepper. Additionally, many gardeners have successfully used visual deterrents like plastic owls or reflective tape hung in the area.

4. Traps

Using traps can be an effective way to keep birds and squirrels away from your tomatoes. You can set up humane traps that will capture the animals—without killing them—so they can be released elsewhere. This is a great option for people who don’t want to harm wildlife but still need a way to keep critters away from their tomatoes.

Setting up traps can be a great solution if you want to keep birds and squirrels away from your tomato plants. Humane traps are designed to capture the animals without harming them, allowing for their safe release in another location.

These traps range from simple open-topped boxes to more complex metal cages with multiple entry points. You’ll need to check the traps regularly and release any animals caught.

5. Hot Pepper Spray

Hot pepper spray is a natural way to deter pests from invading your home. Peppers contain capsaicin, an active ingredient in chili peppers known for its spicy taste. As squirrels and other pests have sensitive senses of smell and taste, this ingredient can effectively keep them away from your home and garden.

Combine the ground pepper with water to create a powerful hot spray, then strain off the leaves. Next, add almond oil or dish soap to the strained mixture, acting as an emulsifier to help the solution spread more evenly when sprayed onto plants and other surfaces.

You can adjust the concentration of hot pepper spray depending on how strong you would like it to be by adding more or less water; however, use caution when doing so, as it could cause more harm than good if used too liberally. Once all ingredients are fully mixed together, you can start spraying.

6. Plant Companion Plants

Planting companion plants near your tomatoes can help keep birds and squirrels away from your crop. These plants provide a natural smell that may act as an animal repellent, making it difficult for critters to get close enough to eat your tomatoes.

Companion planting also helps promote healthy vegetable growth by providing nutrients and attracting beneficial insects.

One of the most popular companion plants to use near tomatoes are marigolds. The marigold’s bright yellow and orange flowers act as a natural repellent for birds and squirrels, attracting beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies. Planting these annual flowers between your tomato plants will help keep birds and squirrels away from your yield.

7. Vinegar

White vinegar can be a great solution for keeping pesky squirrels away from your garden. It is an odor they hate, yet it won’t hurt them or any of the plants. The vinegar’s acidic nature can also help deter other animals, such as rabbits and mice.

The best way to use white vinegar as a deterrent is to spray it around the perimeter of your garden and over any plants that may be at risk from predators. You can also immerse hardware cloths in the white vinegar and place them around the plants; this will soak up most of the smell and be quite effective. It should be noted, however, that white vinegar will need to be reapplied often due to its volatile nature. Hence, it is important to monitor and refresh your defenses against hungry critters regularly.

8. Alternative Food Sources

As a gardener, one of the most frustrating things to deal with is unwanted critters swiping away at your hard-earned work. One such offender, the squirrel, can be difficult to deter from your garden, but alternative food sources may be able to help. For instance, you can purchase a bird feeder and offer up treats that are more enticing than your tomatoes or peppers.

Popular squirrel snacks include unsalted nuts, chopped apples, carrots, spinach, bean sprouts, and celery. This will likely divert their attention away from your garden and onto the tasty treats in the bird feeder instead.

Alternatively, a more eco-friendly approach to providing an alternative food source would be to plant trees in your yard, which are popular among squirrels. These include oak, beech sweet chestnut, and hazel trees- nut-bearing species – heaven-sent for a hungry squirrel.

Hopefully, by giving them access to these natural resources, you can keep them and yourself happy without resorting to harsh eviction methods or other deterrents.

9. Plant Some Garlic

Garlic is an excellent choice for deterring squirrels from your garden as it has a strong fragrance they dislike. The best way to use garlic as a repellent is to plant some of the bulbs around the perimeter of your garden, which will act as a natural deterrent.

Additionally, you can crush and sprinkle some cloves around the area or make a garlic spray by grinding the cloves into a paste and adding it to water. This spray can be used on plants and other garden surfaces to help keep pesky critters away.

Another effective solution for keeping squirrels and birds away from your tomatoes is creating a physical barrier. This could be as simple as erecting a fence around the perimeter of your garden or using netting over your plants.

The fencing should be at least a few feet high; netting should also be securely attached to the ground to prevent inquisitive critters from getting past it.

10. Traps

If all other methods fail to keep squirrels away from your tomatoes, you may need to resort to trapping them. This should be done humanely and responsibly; for instance, you can purchase a live cage trap that allows the animal to be released far away from your home without harm.

Position the traps near areas where you’ve seen evidence of squirrel activity, such as damaged plants or droppings.

Bait the traps with a tasty snack such as peanut butter and wait for the critter to wander in. Once it is secure, quickly transport it to a safe location away from your home and release it into the wild.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Do Coffee Grounds Keep Squirrels Away From Tomatoes?

Coffee grounds have long been touted as an effective way to keep squirrels away from tomatoes. The theory is that the strong smell of coffee grounds will repel the squirrels and keep them from eating your tomatoes.

However, the jury is still out on whether or not this is effective for keeping squirrels away from tomatoes. Some people swear by it, while others have had mixed results. Ultimately, it may be worth a try if other methods have not been successful, but it is not guaranteed to work.

2. What Do I Do If A Squirrel Is Eating My Tomatoes?

If you find that a squirrel has been eating your tomatoes, there are a few steps you can take to help keep them away. First, ensure the area around your tomato plants is well-maintained – remove any debris or overgrown vegetation that may provide the squirrel with shelter or food.

You can also try using some of the methods mentioned in this article, such as planting garlic, erecting a fence, or using bird feeders to provide an alternative food source. If all else fails, you may need to resort to humanely trapping and releasing the animal away from your home.

3. Why Are Birds And Squirrels Attracted To My Tomato Plants?

Birds and squirrels are attracted to tomato plants for many reasons. First of all, tomatoes are a sweet and tasty treat for them. Tomatoes also provide shelter, shade, and protection from predators in the form of thick foliage. Lastly, birds may visit your tomato plant to feed on insects that live near or in the soil.

4. Is Using Bird Netting Or Mesh Safe Around Tomato Plants?

If properly secured, bird netting or mesh is safe and doesn’t entangle or harm birds or other wildlife. Ensure the netting is pulled taut and secured tightly to prevent animals from getting trapped. Regularly check the netting to ensure it is in good condition and poses no risks to birds or squirrels.

5. What Smell Do Squirrels Hate The Most?

Did you know scents like white pepper, black pepper, and garlic are naturally unpleasant to squirrels? Sweet smells such as peppermint also repel them. To keep squirrels away from your plants and flowers, spray them with water and sprinkle them on some pepper or peppermint oil. It’s a safe and effective method.


Keeping birds and squirrels away from your tomatoes can be difficult, but it is possible. Effective solutions include planting garlic or other strong-smelling plants nearby, erecting a fence or netting around the perimeter of your garden, providing an alternative food source such as bird feeders, and humanely trapping any intruders. Regularly inspect plants and remove any debris that may provide shelter for these critters.

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

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