Imagine the hard work and patience you poured into taking care of your garden’s tomato plants, only to find out they were eaten by aggressive raccoons last night. Not the best news to wake up, is it?
Raccoons are wild creatures that love munching on famous fruit plants like tomatoes. And because they are aggressive, they will do whatever it takes to reach your garden’s plants and consume them.
If you don’t have anything to protect your dear plants, guarantee that they will be inside the raccoons’ stomachs the following day.
You need to outsmart these raccoons to protect your tomato plants. And if you’re looking for the most effective ways to do that, try our top suggestions:
- Use natural repellents.
- Install motion-sensor lights.
- Keep them away using ammonia-scented barriers.
- Set up cage traps.
- Learn to fence your garden.
Raccoons are clever animals who prefer to be active at night. That’s about the same time you’re taking a good night’s sleep. Hence, they are free to enter your gardens and eat whatever they want.
Don’t worry; this guide explores various effective ways to keep them from eating your tomato plants.
Keeping Raccoons Out of Tomato Plants
It’s definitely a disappointment when you see raccoons invading your gardens, especially when they have destroyed your dear plants. To keep them out of your favorite tomato plants, our suggestions should work.
1. Use Natural Repellents
Even though your goal is to eradicate raccoon infestation in your garden, it’s always best you do it naturally. With hundreds of available repellents in the market, why not use natural and organic products that are safer for the environment?
Wood Ash or Blood Meal
For starters, you can use wood ash or blood meal. A blood meal is an effective fertilizer; you can readily save ashes from burning wood to get wood ash. You can sprinkle them around your tomato plants, and they have been proven to be effective against raccoons, skunks, and groundhogs.
For the best deterrent effect, you need to stay diligent in applying the product around your garden. These will only work if you apply them regularly.
Chili and Garlic Powder
Aside from using natural fertilizer or wood ash, sprinkling garlic and chili powder also work. Raccoons are some of the few animals who hate the mixture’s scent.
So make sure to mix equal amounts of each powder for it to be effective. After creating the mixture, sprinkle it around the plants commonly visited by raccoons, like your tomato plants.
One thing to know about this mixture is that it’s useless when it’s raining. The wet soil will only soak the powder mixture. To solve this problem, wait for the soil’s topmost layer to dry before sprinkling the mixture.
2. Install Motion-Sensor Lights
Raccoons are nocturnal animals; they love going out at night because it’s when predators won’t be able to see them. That’s why installing lights in your garden can help. And better yet, why not install motion-sensor lights that will automatically signal when they sense movements around your plants?
Because raccoons function better at night, they will try their best to avoid brightness. If you only install plain lights, it might not be easy to catch them because the lights won’t signal you of the movements they have detected.
With motion-sensor lights, you can automatically know when raccoons have invaded because of the signals from the sensor lights.
Even though you’re inside your room taking a nap, you will immediately find out when movements or animals have been detected going around your tomato plants.
3. Use Ammonia-Scented Barriers
If you know raccoons, they have a sensitive sense of smell, especially intense scents like ammonia. Therefore, you can use this to your advantage. But why do raccoons hate the scent of ammonia?
You should understand that raccoons are not the type of animals who would pee in their own beddings. When raccoons need to pee, they will often go someplace far to urinate.
Ammonia is one of the main chemicals present in your urine, which also explains why raccoons hate its scent.
When raccoons smell ammonia, they think it’s urine, making them conclude that it’s a soiled area. Raccoons will then look for another spot because they think the soiled area has a ruined food source.
Therefore, you can use ammonia-soaked rags and create a barrier around your tomato plants. This will definitely make raccoons avoid the area, allowing you to protect your plants.
4. Set Up Cage Traps
If sensor lights or natural repellents won’t work, consider setting up cage traps. It would be nice if you looked online and learned about the most humane types of live traps.
Inside the cage trap, place a small bit of food you can use as a trap. This will help lure squirrels inside the cage better and easier. An even better bait is a small tomato or corn from your garden.
Raccoons will see this as a potential food source and will certainly be attracted to the bait.
Once you have trapped the raccoon inside the cage, call animal services. Don’t kill the raccoon. This is the most humane and professional way to get rid of raccoons in your garden.
5. Fence Your Garden
This will only be effective if you have fenced your garden before planting tomato seeds. If you fence gardens with adult plants, it’s easy for raccoons to go over the fences and run toward potential food sources.
If you want the barriers to be more effective, try using electric fences with wires around your garden.
We recommend using a double-wire fence to be more effective in keeping raccoons out of your garden. Because they are electric, expect raccoons to feel shocked when they try to go over them.
Additionally, you don’t want to kill the raccoons; just deter and scare them enough so they won’t return to your garden. With that, it’s better to use solar energy to power the electric fences. Don’t attempt to attach the fences to your home’s current because it would be way too strong for raccoons to survive its attack.
If you’re using electric fences, it would be best to place caution and warnings to prevent human injuries.
Always Protect Your Tomato Plants
Tomato plants are planted so you can harvest the fruit and use it for cooking. You must protect them from all kinds of animals, including aggressive raccoons.
To keep raccoons out of your garden, try using natural repellents or installing motion-sensor lights. You can also try using the raccoons’ hatred for ammonia to your advantage. Or you can also set up cage traps or use electric fences to protect your garden.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Ammonia Be Harmful to Raccoons?
Ammonia will only have a negative effect on raccoons and other animals if they have ingested it. Smelling this substance won’t pose any harmful consequences to these wild pests.
Why Do Raccoons Love Tomatoes?
There is no scientific reason behind the raccoons’ love for tomatoes. Because they are opportunistic eaters, they love munching on tomatoes because these fruits are big and contain a lot of nutrients.