We grew beautiful tomatoes this year only to have them ruined by chipmunks. If anyone has any ideas for stopping this, please let me know. - Betty
One thing you could try is to set out some shallow pans of water for the chipmunks to drink. Sometimes when animals start eating our juicy veggies, it's to get the water content because they are thirsty, and not because they are hungry. It's certainly worth a try.
We had the same problem with squirrels this summer leaving us with maybe 2 tomatoes a week. I bought 2 sage plants and put them in the space between my plants. Guess what! We not only didn't have squirrel problems any more, but the bugs didn't like the sage either. This left us with more tomatoes than we could handle, so I tossed a few to the side for the squirrels.
These rodents are smart. Given time, they'll find a way to get to their desired target. As with birds, it's best to vary your approach every so often to keep the rodents off balance. An good exclusion trick is to place a baffle on fruit tree trunks or bird feeder poles. New "squirrel-proof" feeders appear frequently in catalogs -- they may feature counter-weighted or electrified perches that surprise the critters when they visit the feeder. Some gardeners have had success spraying animal repellents such as cayenne pepper mix, predator urine, mothballs, and commercial formulas on or around plants. Others have had short-term success using ultrasonic noisemakers or setting up separate squirrel-feeding stations to lure them away from the garden. Trapping is the surest way to remove problem rodents. Live traps are very effective for particularly pesky squirrels or chipmunks. However, don't expect to control a whole population with trapping -- there are always more squirrels and chipmunks waiting to move in.
How disheartening this year to have a bumper crop of tomatoes, only to reach down and pick one and find that they've been eaten! I put netting over my plants and caught a chipmunk in the netting, but let him go. But at least I know who the culprit is.
I sprayed some smelly stuff that has Coyote urine in it (my neighbor got it at Home Depot) and I sprinkled some other pest-away stuff that had garlic in it. I also put out a sticky trap and notice that the traps are turned over - but no dead chipmunks. I really don't want to kill them, but I think they are so smart, they sense danger and since I put the traps in the garden two days ago, no more tomatoes have been chewed into.
Someone suggested to me to scare away squirrels etc to buy a fake rubber snake and place it near your plants...
I tried using aluminum pie pans upside down...worked as long as you get it good and tight around the stalk and stake. But then I remembered we had a mouse problem in my parents' house. My Dad found out that steel wool bothers their noses and keeps them out of places you can find where they have access. So I tried the steel wool last year around the lowest leaf...no problem with mice or chipmunks. Got all of my tomatoes for US!!! You just have to watch, because the steel wool does rust and deteriorate. Needs to be replaced when it gets too badly rusted.
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