Something's taking large bites out of my tomatoes

by Bernie
(Arlington, Virginia)

75% of my tomatoes seem to get partially eaten after they turn red. Whatever it is, it doesn't touch the green ones, only the ripe ones. It takes an amount ranging from a bite of one inch diameter and one inch depth to perhaps half of a 6" tomato. The bite is usually on the bottom tomatoes, but some of the tomatoes eaten are over two feet from the ground. I haven't had many ripe tomatoes above that to judge if it will eat even taller tomatoes. The yard is fenced in, so it can't be a large animal. We do have a dog that barks at vermin. Any ideas on what is likely the culprit and what I can do about it? BTW, it is very hot and dry now, but I water my plants liberally. Thanks for any help.

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Aug 31, 2015
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Young Squirrels!
by: Anonymous

Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I had befriended a female squirrel and one day she appeared with two young squirrels (shorter bodies). I discovered that the young ones were taking bites out of ripe tomatoes. I set traps baited with peanut butter; got the adult but young ones not interested until I used ripe tomatoes. Got them!


Jul 22, 2014
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Missing bite of tomatoes
by: Anonymous

We have had a very similar problem in the past and finally discovered it was a box turtle in the garden . Good luck hope it gets better for you.

Aug 09, 2013
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Possible
by: Anonymous

Ha, I do have a small dog. I never pictured a dog eating tomatoes. Interesting thought...but I think a few of the tomatoes were too high for my dog to reach.

Aug 08, 2013
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any dogs around?
by: Anonymous

we caught our dog eating a tomato once, we also had noticed big bites taken out of some tomatoes, then caught our dog in mid bite.

Mar 02, 2012
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Pick em early
by: Logan

I think most of us encounter similar situations. I recommend that you watch your tomatoes (especially the ones near the ground or the bottom of your container where the squirrel or whatever culprit can stand and get at the fruit easy) and pick them just as they start turning red. They will ripen quickly in the house and taste fine. With my own experiments I found that everytime I would think that I could get away with letting the fruit stay on just one more day and then I would pick it, the critter would take a chunk out of it that very night or the next morning, before I could get back to pick it. My biggest problem was actually with birds that would come in, sit on the edge of my containers and take a small chunk out and run. They do it soon as the fruits turn red.

Aug 18, 2011
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Creatures in the night and tomatoes
by: Anonymous

I lost my tomatoes to some creature. A few weeks later, I went on the deck about 12:30 am and came face to face with a possum! I can only speculate he/she is the tomato-eating fiend!

Aug 03, 2011
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me too!
by: Jackie

I just did a bit of searching on the net and am concluding that those bites out of the just ripe tomatoes are being taken by squirrels. I plan to put a trap out in my garden and see who I catch tonight. Very frustrating!

Aug 03, 2011
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Same Problem
by: Matt

I'm in Fayetteville NC. Same yard conditions including the dog & fence, and am having the exact same problem as you. Could be a rabbit coming in while the dog is sleeping, but I've not seen any rabbit turds in the yard.

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