Animals Eating Tomatoes - Knowledgebase Question

TX
Question by surspy
May 31, 1998
My tomatoes almost turn red and ripe, but then the next day I find them on the other side of the garden still attached to the stem. All I can figure is a bird, squirrel, or a cat did that. What could I do to keep these animals from picking my crop before picking time?


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Answer from NGA
May 31, 1998

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I would consider the possibilty of raccoons or oppossums too. I have never heard of cats eating tomatoes (there's always a first, and you know cats do as they please!) and birds usually peck fruit but don't carry it away (a crow may be an exception).

You did not mention the damage you found on the fruit. Was it pecks? How much was eaten, or was any eaten?

It sounds like placing a netting over your plants is an option for protecting them. These can be a bit of a pain, but can also save fruit. If the culprit is 4 legged, a low electric fence may work. I have had success with one wire about 4" high and a second about 12" high.

Good luck with your tomatoes!

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