Urban tomato thief

We live in center city Philadelphia. Recently, we found all of our (completely green) tomatoes in our backyard gone. We found evidence in the form of one left-behind half tomato, which looked like it had been chewed. Squirrels? Racoons? Pesky neighbors with a taste for green tomatoes? Any thoughts on the thief and prevention would be great!

  • Posted by: LucyS
  • August 1, 2013
  • 1818 views
  • 11 Comments

11 Comments

Sam1148 August 4, 2013
A Wererabbit.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312004/
From the claymation Wallace and Gromit
 
Juliebell August 4, 2013
We put garden netting over our tomato plants and have had good luck keeping the squirrels out.
 
legobeth August 3, 2013
Have you tried bunny/deer repellant? It stinks but works for my garden. I just put it around my plants not directly on them and it's still effective
 
Merrill S. August 2, 2013
In Brooklyn the squirrels go wild for our tomatoes. I've seen one demolish a large green tomato in under two minutes -- right in front of my face! The nerve. We've tried netting, but I find it really annoying/unattractive. I'm going to try the the crushed red pepper trick!
 
MTMitchell August 2, 2013
We had the same problem and we lived on the 3rd floor. The Chicago squirrels (or raccoons) were deterred by crushed red pepper (I got the huge bottle from Costco and put it basically everywhere -- the leaves, the soil, the deck) and (no commentary please) sachets filled with our dog's fur at the base of the pots. We had a German Shepherd (lots of shed) and I used cheesecloth to make the sachets. I know it sounds gross but the fur wasn't near the actual tomatoes and it worked like a charm. I had a friend say mothballs worked -- they didn't for us.
 
sdebrango August 1, 2013
I could be raccoons or squirrels or both. We have both types of critters and I see the squirrels sitting on fences eating tomatoes. Raccoons raid the garden at night, squirrels are brazen and do it in the daylight.
 
mrslarkin August 1, 2013
I'm guessing a raccoon. That's what we've got, and they love tomatoes. :(
 
Trena H. August 1, 2013
It sounds like a larger predator such as a raccoon or opossum. My experience is rats tend to eat small amounts every evening. Good luck with this very frustrating garden issue.
 
LucyS August 1, 2013
So, as updated information, our gate was slightly open but it didn't look like a person did it (things in front of the gate hadn't been moved, in any case, we're getting a lock). Our yard doesn't face the street, but the yard of hte person who has a house on the next stret over (our whole block is like this).
 
ChefOno August 1, 2013

Rats. Bait traps with tomatoes.

 
LucyS August 1, 2013
It could definitely be rats!! The jerks. Do you think we can control them with traps? We have other peoples' small yards on all sides of us, so I'm worried that they'll just come anyway. As I mentioned below our gate was slightly open, but this could be wind or anything and not necessarily related to tomato theft.
 
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