How to stop chipmunks from eating tomatoes becomes a sought-after question when tomatoes are in season.
In the article, we share everything about this topic, including how to find out it is a chipmunk and the 7 best prevention methods.
We promise that chipmunks eating my tomatoes is no longer your concern anymore.
Let’s get started.
Do Chipmunks Eat Tomatoes? How To Find Out That?
Yes. Chipmunks eat tomatoes. They eat fruits, seeds, nuts, & vegetables. Tomatoes are vegetables and also fruit, so when they come across your vegetable garden, they can feast on your watery fruit.
Besides, do chipmunks eat tomato plants? Well, chipmunks eating tomatoes is a fact too.
Here is how to find out whether chipmunks eat your tomatoes:
Chipmunks Eating Tomatoes Trace
You can observe the trace of tomato plants and fruits being chewed around your garden. Any bite marks, missing stems, or leaves are signs of an animal messing around your tomato bed.
Food For Other Animals Suddenly Disappear
In case your nearby area accommodates some birds, their food can be stolen away too. Check out your bird feeders area to see there are mysterious losses of bird foods.
Moreover, if you have some chickens, their eggs are long gone too.
Holes From 2 To 3 Inches Deep Around Your Garden
Normally, chipmunks will dig holes for shelter. However, these types of holes will not have any earth mounds appearing on the ground.
They are so intelligent to make those holes disappear, and other predators will not detect where they are.
Brown Fur Shadow
Take a look around to see whether there is a shadow of chipmunks. They are small, so you may need to look closer at your garden. To be sure, google its image beforehand.
Strange droppings can be an indicator showing that there has been a thief that damages your beautiful tomatoes.
How To Stop Chipmunks From Eating Tomatoes?
The exclusion method is the most effective method on how to keep chipmunks from eating tomatoes. In general, it is how you reconstruct your garden so chipmunks can not dig into your yard anymore.
Method 1: Use Hardware Cloth/Garden Barrier Material.
Preparation: Hardware cloth/garden barrier material
Step 1: Bury the hardware cloth or garden barrier material .
You need to bury these materials around your tomatoes to the maximum depth possible, depending on how deep you can reach.
This material plays like a fence around your garden or your house walls, patios, foundations, and decks.
Step 2: Check to see if there are any gaps.
When you do it, ensure there is no gap between these fences, as only small ones can have a chance of ruining your crop.
Method 2: Small Rocks Method
Preparation: Small rocks or galvanized wire mesh.
Step 1: Create a rocks border
Use the small rocks to build a wall around your house. By this, tomatoes chipmunks can not sneak into your area.
Suppose you grow tomatoes on foam boxes (or any similar material); galvanized wire mesh is strongly suggested.
Step 2: Double-check the border
When you are done, make sure the borders are secure. You should watch out your border regularly to make sure there is no gap or holes around it.
The next tip on how to keep chipmunks away from tomato plants is habitat modification. In short, it is the way you create an environment that chipmunks hate to come by.
Thus, they will not pay attention to your tomatoes anymore.
- Cleaning garden tools
- Small Alliums or daffodils plants
Step 1: Remove twigs, leaves, debris, and firewood around your area.
Step 2: Leave as much space as possible, especially space between shrubs & trees, because infamous chipmunks hate the so-called open spaces.
Step 3: Grow chipmunks detest plants: alliums or daffodils.
Step 4: Put stones or gravel on the ground around your tomato plants.
Chipmunks dislike walking on these things, so they’ll avoid your plants.
Step 5: Schedule time to clean your garden and house area regularly.
Commercial repellents work, but sometimes these types of insects, animals repellents cause harm for people and other plants. So, if it is compulsory to use it, choose wisely.
Some people use gasoline to kill yellow jacket nests and wonder if this way could work for these little rodents.
The answer is it can kill these animal pests. But in fact, it can damage your garden and harm your plants too.
So how to keep chipmunks from eating my tomatoes? A safer choice is to apply natural repellents.
Some examples that are easy to find in your garden, kitchen, and any local grocery store include hot spices, castor oil, or a mix of garlic + water + jalapeno peppers.
Hot Spices Method
- Hot spices (powder)
- Spray bottle
Step 1: Prepare 1 tablespoon of hot pepper powder + 1 quart of water.
Step 2: Stir the mixture well and pour it into a spray bottle.
Step 3: Spray the mixture all around your plants. Or you just sprinkle it on the ground near your tomatoes. Make sure to coat all sides of the leaves and stems.
Castor Oil + Garlic Method
- Castor oil
- Spray bottle
Step 1: Mix garlic and castor oil as the ratio: 1 tablespoon of castor oil + 1 clove of minced garlic mixed with 1 gallon of water.
Step 2: Put the mixture in the spray bottle. Shake well before use.
Step 3: Spray on tomato plants or the soil around the tomatoes. Let it soak and wait.
Garlic + Jalapeno Peppers + Water Method
- Jalapeno peppers or cayenne pepper
- Spray bottle
Step 1: Put on your gloves. Take out 10 cloves of garlic and peel them.
Step 2: Use a knife to cut 3 peppers into small pieces.
Step 3. Mash the garlic and jalapeno peppers. It’s advised to use a food processor for a quicker solution.
Step 4: Add a cup of water to the mashed garlic and peppers & blend them until the mixture is smooth.
Step 5: Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Let it sit for 30 mins.
Step 6: Shake well before use.
Step 7: Spray the mixture on the plants or around the tomato area.
Trapping & Releasing
The first step when you decide to go with this trick is to check your local law to see if any goes against trapping the animal.
In some regions, relocating chipmunks is not allowed. So, now here is how you can trap the chipmunk:
- 20-inch trap.
- Chipmunk baits: nutmeats, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed.
Step 1: Put your traps in covert locations.
The place should have constant movement, next to burrows, or where there is a lot of activity from chipmunks.
Step 2: Put the chipmunk’s bait in the bait position.
Step 3: Set the time or observe to see if a chipmunk is trapped.
Step 4: When you find the tomato-chewing culprit, releasing it far from your home, say 5 miles away, is ok.
Artificial decoys can work effectively in preventing chipmunks from eating your tomatoes. They will scare away when they see the hidden danger, so they do not come near your garden.
Common chipmunk predator decoys you can get are owls, coyotes, hawks, and foxes. Here is a detailed guide:
Chipmunks decoys: owls, coyotes, hawks, and foxes
Step 1: Choose a position to put your decoys.
Hawks or owls should be put on the tree, high from the ground.
Coyotes or foxes should be placed under overhanging branches or bushes. Just let their noses be visible. Other parts should be hidden.
Step 2: Put these decoys into your planned position.
Step 3: Regularly check and change the positions of these decoys to make them look like real predators. Please don’t move it when there are any chipmunks around. They are pretty clever to find out.
- Bird netting
- Garden measure tools
- Rocks/garden stakes
Step 1: Measure your garden or any area you want to keep chipmunks away.
Step 2: Cut the net into your desired size.
Step 3: Cover your tomatoes with the bird netting.
Make sure every tomato plant is under protection.
Step 4: Use rocks or garden stakes to secure the netting so nothing can go underneath the net.
Step 5: Make a schedule to regularly check the netting to ensure no gaps or holes.
- Cage tomatoes
- Garden measure tools
- Pins or stakes
Step 1: Measure your plants and buy suitable tomato cages. Do it carefully, especially when intercropping with other veggies like cucumbers, as you need to take both plants into account.
Step 2: Put the cage over the plants after digging a proper hole to fit in.
Step 3: Exert great force to push the cage bottom down, deep down on the ground, so chipmunks can not find their way inside.
Step 4: Secure your cage. Use some pins or stakes to ensure it will not move.
Don’t forget to regularly check to expand the space so that your tomatoes are not suffocated from the limited space of the cage.
Does Baking Soda Stop Chipmunks From Eating My Tomatoes?
No. Baking soda is not a solution to keep the chipmunks out of your tomatoes. Chipmunks do not care about baking soda.
You should apply other methods, like trapping and release, using natural repellents, decoys, etc. They will be directly effective and safer.
Does Soap Help To Prevent Chipmunks From Eating Tomatoes?
Yes. The soap’s strong scent is unpleasant for the animal, making them uncomfortable running near the tomatoes.
One thing you should note is to buy and use soap made of natural ingredients so that it does not harm your crop. Using a small amount is ok; don’t apply too much.
Other options like bird netting or habit modifications are much better and more effective.
What Vegetables Are Not Chipmunks’ Favorite?
Hot peppers, garlic, or onions. Because of the strong, pungent scents and tastes, these vegetables irritate chipmunks.
Besides, other unfavorite vegetables of chipmunks include cucumber, kale, squash, and arugula.
Still, if there is nothing but these vegetables around your garden, then there is a good chance that they still eat them.
Each chipmunk is different based on its environment. So, remember to experiment and pick the best fit.
Well, now you have every insight into how to stop chipmunks from eating tomatoes. Even if they are eagerly eating your vegetables, don’t forget they are a part of nature and the food chain.
So, please choose the best method to keep them from coming to your tomatoes rather than to kill them.