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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!

asked by LucyS almost 4 years ago
11 answers 1477 views
A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added almost 4 years ago

Rats. Bait traps with tomatoes.

Edfe409e 4744 406a 98e8 9c239638ad31  img 1965
added almost 4 years ago

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.

Edfe409e 4744 406a 98e8 9c239638ad31  img 1965
added almost 4 years ago

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).

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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added almost 4 years ago

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.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added almost 4 years ago

I'm guessing a raccoon. That's what we've got, and they love tomatoes. :(

2f4926e2 248b 4c22 a6f7 8f2d888b8488  3 bizcard

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 4 years ago

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.

164ae6cf b233 45ae a461 8d7543fae705  melissa mitchell
added almost 4 years ago

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.

Cbfb27ea 071f 4941 9183 30dce4007b50  merrill
Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added almost 4 years ago

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!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

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

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

We put garden netting over our tomato plants and have had good luck keeping the squirrels out.

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

A Wererabbit.
From the claymation Wallace and Gromit

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