Are raccoons tomato eaters? If you’ve discovered partially consumed tomatoes in your yard, you’re likely asking yourself this question.
Raccoons will consume tomatoes from your trash or a tomato plant because they are opportunistic eaters. Raccoons will remove the low-hanging tomatoes from the plant rather than eating the fruit straight off the vine. Finding many half-eaten, discarded tomatoes in your yard is a surefire clue that a raccoon is rummaging there.
It’s not always that easy, though. There are a few creatures that might be responsible for your yard’s tomato devouring. Discovering if this is a raccoon issue or not can help you figure out how to stop them from returning.
This article will explain how to spot the tomato-eating pest and how to prevent it from happening again.
Is it a Raccoon eating your tomatoes?
Raccoons are opportunistic feeders and will consume nearly anything they can.
Undoubtedly, a large, juicy, ripe tomato will appear excellent. A raccoon that is hungry won’t think twice about stealing some tomatoes from the plant in your yard.
The raccoon won’t try to eat the leaves or vines; instead, it will only be interested in the tomato fruit.
The bite scars left by raccoons resemble those left by dogs or even young children. They frequently take many bites. Imagine a raccoon as a young child who takes a bite out of an apple and then returns it to the fruit bowl.
You can check for a few additional indicators to see if the tomato-stealing animal is a raccoon.
The following are indications that you have raccoons in your yard:
- Several partially consumed but dumped tomatoes
- Dumpsters have been searched.
- Your lawn has holes.
- unfilled bird feeders
- Raccoon waste
- Raccoon footprints
If you’ve spotted a few of these symptoms in your yard, you can go to the next step to try to stop the raccoon from consuming your tomatoes. Later on in this essay, we’ll go through how to do that.
If none of these symptoms apply to you, a raccoon might not be the issue for you.
Let’s look at few additional potential tomato predators.
What is eating my tomato Plants at night?
When your tomato plant has been broken into during the night, raccoons are the first thing that comes to mind. However, a few nocturnal animals will gladly consume tomatoes from your yard.
Another opportunistic nocturnal feeder are skunks. The evidence left behind makes it easiest to distinguish between a skunk and a raccoon eating your tomatoes.
A raccoon will snatch the tomato off the branch, nibble on it for a moment, and then throw it away. Then they’ll go on to another tomato and repeat the process there. As a result, your yard will be covered in tomatoes.
Skunks usually only eat one tomato at a time, leaving the rest on the plant.
A tomato that has been skunk-bitten will be closer to the ground.
Skunks prefer to forage in the ground for grubs. If the tomato was hanging in the path of the skunk getting to the soil, it was probably eaten.
Looking for rat droppings is the simplest way to determine whether rodents are munching on your tomatoes.
Near where they eat, rats will leave scat traces. Rat waste resembles small, black pellets.
If your tomatoes are next to a wall or a plant bed on the border of your yard, you’ll discover that rats are more prone to eat them.
Tomatoes that are close to the ground are more prone to be eaten by rays. To obtain tomatoes that are higher up, however, they will climb or jump.
Don’t believe the myth that rats only eat small amounts of a tomato. They can consume a substantial amount. You’ll see that a tomato that has been devoured by rats isn’t just a few clean bites. Many tiny grooves will be present in the bites. Even when they have attempted to stabilize the tomato while eating, you might be able to discern scratch marks on the fragile skin.
Opossums have similar dietary habits as raccoons. It can be challenging to determine which one is the problem.
Take into account how fresh your tomatoes are as one warning indicator. It’s probably a raccoon if they are practically ripe. It’s more likely an opossum if your tomatoes are overripe or decomposing. This isn’t a guarantee, but it can help identify the offender.
Examining the bite marks on your tomatoes is another technique to determine whether an opossum has consumed them. You will probably notice numerous two-toothed bite marks on an opossum.
Plants growing tomatoes are frequently devoured by deer.
The deer won’t just consume the tomato fruits, which is how they differ from raccoons. They will basically consume the entire plant.
Due to their size being greater than that of raccoons, deer will consume the entire tomato plant.
You know you have a deer problem if the tomato plant has huge bites from the top with little to no damage near the bottom.
If you see that your tomatoes are being eaten as they begin to ripen, you might have a bird problem.
Birds are more likely to be caught in the act than other nocturnal creatures because they mostly eat your tomatoes during the day.
Bird marks can be minute circular pecks, but if a bird lingers and feeds for a time, they may resemble big chunks.
Tomato seeds are benign, however other fruit seeds are poisonous to wild birds.
Birds will eat tomatoes from any section of the plant, as you’ll notice. Typically, they will begin higher up and descend. Some birds use the leaves and vines to construct their nests.
How to stop raccoons for eating your tomatoes
Preventing raccoons from entering your yard in the first place is the greatest approach to stop them from eating your tomato plants. See my post on 14 ways to keep raccoons out of your yard.
The issue is that making sure there is no food available is a necessary component of measures to prevent raccoons from nesting. Additionally, you will be providing them with food by growing tomatoes in your yard.
Many of the deterrents will still be effective, but you’ll probably need to combine a number of them. If your raccoon problem is chronic, you may want to put a physical barrier between the raccoon and the tomatoes.
Raccoons cannot be contained by the same simple mesh netting that you use for birds. You should think about installing a small greenhouse that will deter nighttime grazers (this one is a wonderful option for most yards).
Why do raccoons eat tomatoes?
The major reason why raccoons eat tomatoes is because they can. For longer durations, like the winter, raccoons need to consume a lot of food in order to stay healthy and thrive.
Raccoons will receive energy from tomatoes in addition to a supply of fiber, water, vitamins, and minerals.
Why do raccoons only half eat tomatoes?
Tomatoes are consumed by raccoons, but they are not particularly fond of them. The raccoons prefer tomatoes because they are sweet. Tomatoes and other nightshades are both rather acidic, though.
Raccoons’ stomachs may become upset due to the acidity. The raccoons may find the acidity to be very annoying as they eat. This is why multiple tomatoes will frequently have a few bites taken out of them before being thrown away.
What plants attract racoons?
They enjoy eating corn, beans and peas, berries, grapes, tree fruits, nuts, melons, squash, and potatoes. They’ll generally want to eat anything you do, though they prefer to avoid foods that are spicy like garlic, onions, and chili peppers.
What are raccoons favorite things?
Food found in or close to water, such as crayfish, frogs, fish, snails, and clams, is favoured by raccoons. Insects, eggs, produce, nuts, fruits, and even the remains of animals are also favorites. Although they are not particularly skilled hunters, raccoons occasionally succeed in taking down juvenile mice, rats, or squirrels.
Will raccoons get in a vegetable garden?
Raccoons in the wild prefer regions with trees and a water source, but as gardens offer an accessible source of food, more and more of them are robbing them. If there is a water source and a forest close by, they will be even happier.
What are raccoons favorite snacks?
Raccoons consume birds and other mammals in the wild, but when given the choice, they prefer to look for simpler prey. They enjoy eating insects, fruit, nuts, and eggs among other things. If their denning location is close to a body of water, they also catch fish, shellfish, reptiles, and amphibians.
Do vegetable gardens attract raccoons?
1. Planting beds. Raccoons are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals of all kinds. Although they are frequently seen devouring melons, berries, grapes, and a variety of other garden produce, they are most widely recognized as marauders of sweet corn areas.
Raccoons will consume tomatoes if given the chance. There are a number of indicators that point to raccoons as the tomato thief. This includes a number of half-eaten fruits, a lawn that has been looted, and even raccoon waste.
Your tomatoes could have been eaten by one of several animals. Before you try to put deterrents in place, it’s necessary to determine who is at fault.