Squirrels are very cute and we don’t want to hurt them. On the other hand, they can be irritating and harmful to our gardens and flowerbeds but also to our shed and house.
Although they have a weakness for tomatoes, grey squirrels nibble on the fruits and buds of many other edible plants, and seem to take a malicious pleasure in digging up the rhizomes and bulbs of certain plants such as tulips. Especially interested in the water contained in cucumbers and tomatoes, it often makes just a few holes in these vegetables to suck the juice.
Do squirrels eat tomatoes ?
They do. In fact, they even leaves signs, a sign of damage caused by a squirrel is a medium to large hole dug in one side of a tomato. Sometimes a squirrel can eat a whole tomato, but in an apparently malicious behavior, it usually bites several tomatoes, destroying them all for you. Squirrels are active during the day. Therefore, if the damage shows up overnight, another mammal is probably the culprit.
You may also see small holes in your garden or in nearby containers, indicating that a squirrel has dug there. Or you may see damage to other plants. Squirrels can nibble on flowers and they especially like daisies.
Damage to leaves and fruit on a tomato plant indicates a likely problem with insects, such as the tomato worm caterpillar.
How to protect tomato plants from squirrels
Building cages to enclose your plants is probably the most effective method to protect tomatoes from squirrels. You can build cages around individual plants or an entire bed, or enclose an entire small garden. Since squirrels can jump into your garden from hanging trees, a roof is necessary. Build the cages out of wire mesh or fabric, possibly with a bird net placed over it.
Repellent sprays, such as chili pepper sprays, can help protect tomatoes from squirrels. You can choose a commercially available spray or make your own. If you use a homemade chili pepper spray, you can apply it directly to your growing tomatoes to deter hungry animals. Don’t forget to wash it before eating them!
Outdoor cats are great for keeping squirrels out of gardens. The same goes for dogs if you have a fenced yard. Of course, you may need to take steps to keep your pets out of the garden. They probably won’t eat vegetables, but they can do a lot of damage by digging if you’re not careful.
Frightening tactics are another option to protect tomatoes from squirrels. Try placing noisemakers, paddlewheels, metal tape and wind chimes around your garden. However, they usually only work for a few days. You will need to change them often as the squirrels realize that they are not a threat.
If falcons or other birds of prey live in your area, consider taking steps to attract them by providing perches, nesting sites and other needs.
Other options to keep squirrels out of gardens
Fence the garden
The best way to scare off rodents is to erect a fence around the garden. This way, they will be less likely to cross the streets to take a walk in the vegetable garden or to ransack flower boxes.
Squirrels are no exception to the rule.
Like all small animals, they are afraid of fences. However, these animals adapt surprisingly well to any new environment. Some rodents have no problem climbing a simple fence, which leads people to electrify them by diffusing charges to keep unwanted animals away.
Although in some cases this last measure is a bit drastic, more and more people are opting for this type of solution in case of rodent invasion. However, to maximize the effectiveness of a fence, all you need to do is adopt a dog and let it frolic in the garden to scare off the squirrels.
Taking the dog out
Some shots remain an effective solution to keep a rodent away from the garden. Indeed, a human’s best friend is not only a pet. It is also a formidable weapon to scare away even the most persevering squirrels.
The dog is even one of the rodents’ sworn enemies because it represents a threat to them. And conversely, the dog does not particularly enjoy the company of these small wild animals.
By taking the dog out in the garden, the risk of attracting squirrels is considerably reduced. The mere presence of the large animal will be enough to dissuade rodents from roaming around. In addition, frequent barking is a natural repellent for squirrels.
Hanging CDs on plants
It’s well known, squirrels don’t like mirror effects. If a large stock of unused CDs is cluttering up the attic, it’s time to exploit them instead of throwing them away. Simply hang them on strings and install them nearby or on plants. The radiation they send back when touched by the sun will scare rodents away, not to mention the tinkling that bothers them.
Squirrels particularly appreciate quiet places where they can move around safely. The slightest noise and abnormal phenomenon will dissuade them from taking a walk in the garden.
It is also possible to hang CDs on tree branches. The result will be the same as when they are attached to plants. However, it is necessary to think about changing the discs regularly so that they do not lose their luster, without forgetting to change their location to deter small invaders.
Using a pruner
The trees surrounding the garden often attract rodents and birds. The scattered branches are also a good place for squirrels to roam freely and reach the attic of a house. It is therefore important to constantly prune the trees to avoid any invasion.
Professionals offer their services to do the delimbing properly. They identify the branches that need to be removed to ensure the safety of the surrounding people, but also to reduce the risk of rodent invasion. A pruned tree becomes less attractive to small bugs.
Install anti-scouring bird feeders
Squirrels love seeds and nuts. However, a bird feeder contains enough food to attract these small rodents. To keep them away, it is possible to install anti-scurry feeders.
They are equipped with a protection that prevents these animals from digging in the bird reserves. However, the best solution to keep these invaders away is not to put any feeders at all in the garden.
Use an ultrasonic repellent
This type of device is often used to keep bugs away from a property. There is a wide range of ultrasonic repellents on the market with different settings. For those designed for rodents and small animals, the frequencies can be adjusted so that the sound only targets a particular type of animal.
This is the case for squirrels, rats, mice and skunks. Installed outside of a house, this tool will diffuse an imperceptible noise to human ears. Its operating system is simple: it will emit ultrasounds that are harmful to rodents and prevent them from approaching the garden. However, the range of these devices varies according to the power and the model.
Equipping shafts with metal collars
Besides pruning the branches of the trees to prevent squirrels from climbing up to the attic or walking through the trees. It is also recommended that metal collars be installed to prevent small animals from climbing and making their homes.
To do this, a smooth iron (or sheet metal) collar should be attached that will make climbing difficult. Be at least 1.80 metres wide and wide enough to go around the trunk. The objective is to avoid giving the rodent the opportunity to climb up to get its bearings and build its den.
The squirrel, sometimes red, sometimes brown, feeds on seeds, acorns, berries, hazelnuts, and chestnuts but alas in our gardens, their food consists of bark, buds, rhizomes, bulbs, plants, ripe vegetables that they dig up.
To summarize if the little squirrel is a charming hairball, in number, squirrels can destroy your plantations. The best solution is to put a fence around your garden, you can also put pepper on your tomato plants. We let you discover the other solutions in this article.