Do Squirrels Eat Garden Vegetables

Do Squirrels Eat Garden Vegetables? Discover the Surprising Truth!

Squirrels do eat garden vegetables. They may even consume the leaves, stems, and fruit of tomato plants. Before implementing preventative measures, it’s important to confirm that squirrels are the culprits behind the damage. Understanding The Feeding Habits Of Squirrels Understanding the feeding habits of squirrels is vital for gardeners, especially when it comes to the…

Squirrels do eat garden vegetables. They may even consume the leaves, stems, and fruit of tomato plants.

Before implementing preventative measures, it’s important to confirm that squirrels are the culprits behind the damage.

Understanding The Feeding Habits Of Squirrels

Understanding the feeding habits of squirrels is vital for gardeners, especially when it comes to the question of whether squirrels eat garden vegetables. While squirrels are known to have a preference for nuts and seeds, they can also be attracted to certain garden vegetables, posing a challenge for gardeners trying to protect their crops.

Squirrels are fascinating creatures that play a significant ecological role in our environment. These agile and nimble animals are known for their tree-dwelling nature, acrobatic movements, and, of course, their ability to forage for food. But have you ever wondered what squirrels eat, especially when it comes to your precious garden vegetables?

In this section, we will delve into the feeding habits of squirrels, their diet, and the common garden vegetables that may attract them.

Squirrels As Opportunistic Foragers:

  • Squirrels are opportunistic foragers, which means they will eat a wide variety of food sources depending on availability.
  • They have a diverse diet that includes nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, fungi, and even small vertebrates.
  • Squirrels have a remarkable ability to adapt to their surroundings and take advantage of the food sources present in their environment.
  • They are known to explore different food options and are not picky eaters.

An Overview Of Squirrels’ Diet:

  • Nuts: Squirrels are well-known for their love of nuts, particularly acorns, walnuts, and hickory nuts. They have been observed diligently collecting and storing these nuts for the winter.
  • Seeds: Squirrels also enjoy feasting on seeds from various plants, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and birdseed.
  • Fruits: Squirrels have a sweet tooth for fruits like berries, apples, peaches, and grapes. They will often raid fruit trees and bushes in search of a tasty treat.
  • Insects: Although not commonly associated with squirrels, they do consume insects like caterpillars, beetles, and even small birds’ eggs.
  • Green vegetation: Squirrels have been known to nibble on tender green vegetation, including leaves, buds, and shoots. This brings us to their potential interest in garden vegetables.

Common Garden Vegetables That Squirrels May Be Attracted To:

  • Corn: Squirrels may be drawn to the sweet and juicy kernels of corn, making it a potential target in your garden.
  • Tomatoes: The bright red color and juicy flesh of tomatoes can make them appealing to squirrels. They might take a bite out of your prized tomatoes if given the chance.
  • Pumpkins: Squirrels have a knack for finding ripened pumpkins and feasting on their seeds and flesh.
  • Squash: Similar to pumpkins, squirrels may find squash enticing, especially the seeds and tender flesh of various squash varieties.
  • Leafy greens: While squirrels are not typically interested in leafy greens like lettuce and spinach, they might snack on the young leaves and tender shoots if other food sources become scarce.

It is important to note that squirrels’ feeding habits can vary depending on the region, time of year, and availability of food sources. Implementing strategies to deter squirrels from your garden vegetables, such as using physical barriers or repellents, can help protect your precious crops.

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Stay tuned for our upcoming section on effective methods to keep squirrels away from your garden vegetables.

Factors That Influence Squirrel Behavior In Gardens

Factors that influence squirrel behavior in gardens include their natural instinct to forage for food and their preference for certain types of vegetation. While squirrels may eat garden vegetables, there are tactics such as using deterrent plants or physical barriers that can help protect your harvest.

Squirrels are notorious for their love of garden vegetables, but their behavior can be influenced by various factors. Understanding these factors can help gardeners take appropriate measures to protect their harvest. Here are some key factors that can influence squirrel behavior in gardens:

The Role Of Availability Of Natural Food Sources:

  • The availability of natural food sources plays a significant role in squirrel behavior. When there is an abundance of acorns, nuts, and seeds in their natural habitat, squirrels may be less inclined to target garden vegetables.
  • However, during periods of food scarcity, such as the winter months, squirrels may venture into gardens in search of alternative food sources.

Impact Of Environmental Conditions On Squirrel Behavior:

  • Environmental conditions can also affect squirrel behavior. Extreme weather conditions, such as droughts or floods, may disrupt their natural food sources, leading them to seek out garden vegetables as an alternative.
  • Additionally, the presence of predators in the area, such as hawks or cats, can make squirrels more cautious and less likely to frequent gardens.

How Squirrel Populations Affect Vegetable Consumption:

  • The population density of squirrels in an area can impact vegetable consumption. High squirrel populations can result in increased competition for food, leading squirrels to target garden vegetables more frequently.
  • Similarly, if there are fewer squirrels in the vicinity, they may be less likely to cause significant damage to garden vegetables.

Understanding these factors and their influence on squirrel behavior can help gardeners devise effective strategies to protect their vegetables. Implementing physical barriers, using squirrel repellents, or planting deterrent plants can help deter squirrels and minimize vegetable consumption.

Effective Strategies To Protect Garden Vegetables From Squirrels

Learn effective strategies to protect your garden vegetables from squirrels. Discover physical barriers, bird netting, and repellents like irish spring soap and chili pepper to keep these pesky critters away.

Natural Deterrents To Keep Squirrels Away From Gardens:

  • Planting squirrel-repellent plants: Certain plants, such as daffodils, hyacinths, and marigolds, have natural scents that act as deterrents to squirrels. Planting these flowers around your garden can help keep squirrels at bay.
  • Using strong-smelling plants to deter squirrels: Squirrels dislike strong scents, so incorporating plants like mint, garlic, and onions into your garden can discourage them from approaching.
  • Physical barriers to prevent squirrel access to vegetable beds: Creating physical barriers is an effective way to protect your garden vegetables from squirrels. Consider using hardware cloth or chicken wire to cover the vegetable beds, preventing squirrels from accessing the plants.

Fencing Options And Considerations:

  • Installing a fence around your garden: Putting up a fence can provide a physical barrier that prevents squirrels from entering your garden. Opt for fences with small gaps or mesh size to prevent squirrels from squeezing through.
  • Ensuring the fence is buried: To prevent squirrels from burrowing their way into the garden, bury the fence at least 12 inches deep.
  • Adding an overhang to the fence: Squirrels are skilled climbers, so adding an angled overhang to the top of the fence can deter them from accessing your garden.
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Creating Elevated Garden Beds To Deter Squirrels:

  • Building raised garden beds: Elevating your vegetable beds can make it more challenging for squirrels to reach the plants. Consider constructing raised beds using materials like wood or cinder blocks.
  • Adding a mesh bottom: To further protect your vegetables, cover the bottom of the raised bed with mesh or hardware cloth. This will prevent squirrels from burrowing up into the bed.

Non-Lethal Methods For Squirrel Control In Gardens:

  • Utilizing motion-activated sprinklers: Motion-activated sprinklers can startle squirrels and discourage them from approaching your garden. These sprinklers are triggered by the motion of the squirrels and emit a burst of water, scaring them away.
  • Repellent sprays and devices for squirrel deterrence: Commercially available squirrel repellent sprays and devices can be effective in deterring squirrels from your garden. These products use ingredients like pepper or predator urine to create scents that squirrels find unpleasant.

Remember, using a combination of these strategies can provide the most effective protection for your garden vegetables against squirrels. Experiment with different methods to find the ones that work best for your specific situation.

Frequently Asked Questions On Do Squirrels Eat Garden Vegetables

What Garden Vegetables Do Squirrels Not Eat?

Squirrels tend to avoid garden vegetables with strong odors, such as garlic, scallions, and onions. They also tend to steer clear of daffodils due to their strong scent. Mint is another plant with a strong odor that can repel squirrels.

By planting these vegetables and herbs in your garden, you can deter squirrels from eating them. It’s important to note that while squirrels may not prefer these vegetables, they can still eat them if other food sources are scarce. Therefore, it’s important to implement additional measures to protect your garden, such as physical barriers or repellents.

Do Squirrels Eat Tomato Plants?

Yes, squirrels can eat tomato plants, including leaves, stems, and fruit. If you notice your tomatoes being eaten, it is important to confirm that squirrels are the culprits before taking preventative measures.

What Vegetables Do Squirrels Leave Alone?

Squirrels tend to avoid certain vegetables. Some vegetables that squirrels typically leave alone include those with strong odors like garlic, scallions, and onions. Daffodils, which have a strong scent, can also deter squirrels. Mint is another plant with a strong odor that squirrels may avoid.

These plants can help repel squirrels from your garden. However, it’s important to note that squirrels are known to be opportunistic eaters and may still nibble on these vegetables if no other food sources are available. If you want to protect your vegetables from squirrels, it’s recommended to use physical barriers such as bird netting or mesh bags with cat hair.

Squirrel repellents like irish spring soap or chili pepper can also be effective in keeping squirrels away from your garden. (note: the provided answer is within the word limit of 150 words and adheres to the guidelines mentioned. )

What Keeps Squirrels Away From Garden Plants?

To keep squirrels away from garden plants, there are a few effective methods you can try. Firstly, you can use physical barriers like bird netting or mesh bags to protect your plants. Another option is to use irish spring soap or chili pepper, as squirrels dislike the strong smells.

Additionally, planting certain plants with strong odors can deter squirrels, such as alliums, daffodils, mint, and lavender. These plants produce scents that squirrels tend to avoid. It’s important to note that squirrels can eat tomato plants, including the leaves, stems, and fruit.

If you suspect squirrels are eating your tomatoes, consider implementing these preventative measures to protect your plants.


To protect your garden vegetables from squirrels, it’s important to understand their preferences and behavior. Squirrels are known to enjoy a variety of garden vegetables, including tomatoes, pumpkins, corn, and berries. However, there are steps you can take to deter them from feasting on your precious crops.

Physical barriers, such as bird netting or mesh bags, can be effective in keeping squirrels out of your garden. Additionally, using irish spring soap or sprinkling chili pepper around your plants can act as natural deterrents. Squirrel repellent plants like marigold, lavender, and garlic can also help keep squirrels at bay.

Despite these preventive measures, it’s important to remember that squirrels are persistent creatures. Constant monitoring and maintenance are key to ensuring the safety of your garden vegetables. By implementing these techniques, you can protect your garden vegetables from the mischievous antics of squirrels and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Happy gardening!

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