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How Do I Keep Squirrels from Stealing My Tomatoes?

By: Jessie Keith

“Squirrels have stolen all my tomatoes for the last 3 years.  Is there any option other than putting up fencing?” Question from Barbara of Portage, Michigan

Answer: Squirrels tend to steal fruit when they are thirsty as well as hungry, and there are several proactive things that you can do to keep them away. Fences do not work due to the acrobatic nature of squirrels. Your best option is a motion-sensor repeller. There are several types. Some are in the form of hooting owls, others release ultrasonic sounds, but the best use sharp sprays of water to startle and frighten away squirrels and other pests. The Yard Enforcer is a good brand.

At my home, I also maintain a water source for birds that squirrels can also drink from and place my kitchen produce seeds–from melons, squash, etc.– outside and away from my garden for squirrels to eat. It costs no money, and well-fed and watered squirrels tend to stay away from my garden.

I hope that these tips help.

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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