Growing plants in your backyard can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Unfortunately, animals in the area may see your garden as a free for all. If given the opportunity, animals will enter your garden and eat at your crops. You need to know what animals are eating in your garden in order to protect against them. So, do raccoons eat green tomatoes? This article looks into it
Raccoons do eat green tomatoes, green tomatoes are either ripe heirloom tomatoes or an unripe red tomato variety, raccoons will eat both. These tomatoes are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals and are easy for raccoons to find and eat
Do raccoons eat green tomatoes?
If a raccoon can get an easy meal out of the tomato plants in your garden it likely will. These animals are opportunistic feeders, they will eat food if they are hungry and are given the opportunity to.
They are also omnivores, they eat meat and plants but their diet is mainly plants. They will eat your green tomatoes if they can
There are two types of green tomatoes, the first type is the unripe tomato that has not turned red yet, the second type is a type of heirloom tomato. These are green when ripe. Raccoons can eat both varieties.
Ripe green tomatoes are beneficial to raccoons because they deliver a variety of vitamins and minerals to the raccoon’s body, namely: vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium to name a few.
The unripe tomato varieties are inferior because they do not offer the same level of nutrients that ripe tomatoes do.
Ripe red tomatoes can deliver antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, choline, calcium, vitamin A, phosphorus, folic acid, beta carotene, and high levels of water which will help with hydration
Raccoons enjoy eating vegetables because they are relatively easy to access. These animals don’t like to exert too much energy when looking for food. Finding and eating vegetables takes up less energy than looking for and hunting for prey.
If a raccoon is interested in the green tomatoes in your garden, it simply needs to sneak into your garden at night, pick your tomatoes and make off with them. This also happens in the wild
If insects are eating your tomatoes then the damage will be superficial, if raccoons are eating your tomatoes then the whole tomato will disappear.
Signs of raccoons eating your green tomatoes are holes in your lawns, raccoon track marks, several half-eaten then discarded tomatoes, raccoon poop, and raided garbage cans
How do I stop raccoons from eating my tomatoes?
Keeping raccoons out may require using one or two solutions.
Solutions to your raccoon problem include using ammonia-soaked rags or citrus peels near your tomatoes, using scare tactics like motion-activated lights, or a loud radio close to your tomatoes at night, or trapping the raccoons and releasing them.
Note: If you plan on trapping and releasing raccoons, check your local laws about this
What animal is stealing my green tomatoes?
Raccoons aren’t the only animals that will enjoy eating at your tomatoes, other insects and wildlife will eat at your tomatoes too:
Squirrels: A sign of squirrels eating at your tomato plants are small bite marks on your tomatoes. They won’t eat the whole tomato, they will bite some and munch on others, ruining most of your crop
Hornworms stink bugs, beet armyworms: If these insects are eating your tomatoes the damage will look similar. These insects will create small holes on your tomato leaves and create ragged edges on the leaves as well.
Tomato fruitworms: These insects will burrow into your tomatoes eating the inside of the fruit as it goes, the tomato will not look too damaged on the outside but if cut open, the tomato will be riddled with slimy water-filled cavities as well as feces and skin castings
Deer: These large animals will eat tomatoes and leave deer tracks and deer droppings around the plants. Not only do they eat tomatoes, but they will also eat the leaves. They can destroy your whole garden in the process
Skunks: Skunks are opportunistic feeders just as raccoons are, they will eat tomatoes but prefer to eat the insects on your tomato leaves. Signs of a skunk eating your tomatoes are bites taken out of your low hanging tomato fruits
In conclusion, yes, raccoons do eat green tomatoes.
These animals will eat unripe green tomatoes or ripe, green heirloom tomatoes.
Signs of raccoons being the animal eating your tomatoes include holes in your lawns, raccoon track marks, several half-eaten then discarded tomatoes, raccoon poop, and raided garbage cans
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other raccoon related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do raccoons eat geese?, Do raccoons eat grasshoppers?, Do raccoons eat groundhogs?, Do raccoons eat geraniums?