You are currently viewing Ask Gardenerd: Squirrels Eating My Fruit!
Loquats ripen on a small tree. We try to pick them before the squirrels get them.

Ask Gardenerd: Squirrels Eating My Fruit!

“Help! The squirrels clean[ed] my 3 Loquat trees, not one piece of fruit left. Quite the surprise. Now I’m fretting over my tomatoes. How do I keep them away for my ripening fruit?”–Kim

Sorry to hear about your squirrel issues, Kim. It’s devastating to foster trees to fruitful production only to have them stripped bare by furry beasts. Let’s look at some options for deterring squirrels:

Raccoon? Squirrel? Zombie? It’s hard to tell.

Squirrel Solutions

First – read up on proposed solutions (like pet hair, predator urine and other remedies) in this previous blog post. There is also a link to a Farmer’s Almanac article with more information on curtailing squirrel behavior.

Messinas Squirrel Stopper. We’ll give it a try on our strawberry patch.

Squirrel Stopperwe recently received a spray bottle of Squirrel Stopper from Messina that worked for us. It’s made up of cinnamon and clove oils and is supposed to last for 30 days even in rain. We sprayed it on the leaf surfaces around a cluster of loquats, and the squirrels stopped eating them. Reviews vary on its effectiveness, but we found it worked for our squirrels. Worth a try.

The cage is tall to accommodate tomato cages and pea trellises as needed.

Now about tomatoes…When it comes to protecting your tomatoes, the issue is a more surmountable, since tomatoes rarely get as tall or wide as loquat trees. You can enclose your tomatoes in bird netting to protect them from harm. You can also construct lightweight cages from PVC and netting to slip over tomatoes that have grown out of bounds. Lift the cages off to harvest.

Water source – be sure to put out a water source for critters on your property. They are often searching for water and find it in your juicy tomatoes. Prove a water source for them to sip from and that may reduce the damage to your garden produce.

We hope this helps you combat your squirrel issues. Keep on trying until you find something that works. We’re pulling for you!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jeff Stark

    I don’t have any stone fruits, but our local fox squirrels have been known to eat my blackberries and raspberries. I also have had problems with rabbits raiding my “salad bar” and burrowing into my raised beds, as well as cats using my potato bed as a litter box. I’ve had great success with cougar urine (though many older women are reluctant to help with this endeavor). No, seriously, I buy a bottle of mountain lion urine at our local outdoor and hunting supply store, put a few drops on a couple of cotton balls, and put them in a film canister or pill bottle with a few holes drilled in the bottom. I drill another hole near the top of the bottle and one in the lid, and run a twist tie through them. I hang them around the problem areas in the garden and they work quite well. I usually reapply the urine to the cotton balls once or twice during the gardening season. Next time I grow corn I’m going to try this method to repel raccoons.

    1. Christy

      Glad to hear this solution is working for you. Thanks for the play by play instructions too. Others will find it useful.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.