do raccoons eat tomatoes

Do Raccoons Eat Tomatoes?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton
Last updated on:

Raccoons have the reputation of being cute animals that usually look for leftover food in people’s junk. They are creatures that are native to North America, and most people living in this part of the world have seen at least one skulking about. Their diet has great variety and includes meat, contrary to what some may think. But of course, they also eat plants!

Do raccoons eat tomatoes?

Raccoons do eat tomatoes they find in your yard. As opportunistic eaters, raccoons will eat tomatoes from your trash or from a tomato plant. Rather than eating the fruit directly off the vine, raccoons will pick off the low-hanging tomatoes.

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will pretty much eat anything they can get their hands on. Of course, a big juicy ripe tomato is going to look delicious. A hungry raccoon won’t hesitate to steal a few tomatoes off the plant in your yard. The raccoon will only be interested in the tomato fruit and won’t attempt to eat the leaves or vines.

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How to spot a raccoon in your tomato garden

Raccoons can ruin your garden by eating the fruits and vegetables you have harvested. They are small yet good at getting into people’s yards. Basic fences will not help.

Signs you have raccoons in your yard are:

  • Several discarded tomatoes which are only half-eaten
  • Garbage cans have been raided
  • Holes in your lawn
  • Empty bird feeders
  • Raccoon poop
  • Raccoon track marks

How to deal with raccoons in your yard

Luckily, there are always ways to protect your tomatoes and other plants. In their quest for food, raccoons may invade your garden or, even worse, your home. They have five toes and two front feet. These toes are equipped with sharp claws that are used to capture prey on land and in water. They may also be used to dig up grass and dirt in search of grub.

What do raccoons like to eat when they come to visit your home? They’ve been known to ravage homegrown fruits and vegetables and are notorious for rummaging through garbage. They may even build nests in your attic or crawl space. Raccoons can be dangerous and are proven carriers of numerous diseases, including rabies.

Here are a few ways to deter them without harm:

  • Use ammonia or vinegar – soak tennis balls or something similar and put them on your garden fence. Raccoons hate the smell of them.
  • Cucumber – raccoons hate the smell of this vegetable and will avoid your garden if you plant it around the edges.
  • Don’t leave garbage out – trash is the biggest attractor for raccoons. If you want, you can leave them food but bear in mind they will start coming frequently as they will assume your home is a source for them. 
  • Fences – build fences around the area where your chickens or pets stay. Make sure it does not have holes and is strong enough to keep raccoons away.

What other animals eat tomatoes?

If you’re asking yourself “What is eating my tomatoes at night?” – know that the answer can’t be definitive. There are many animals that can’t wait to get their fingers (or beaks) on your tomatoes.

Depending on your location, the animal eating your tomatoes could be: a raccoon, a bird, a squirrel, a chipmunk, a deer, with some other candidates, too.

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What other plants do raccoons eat?

They love eating a lot of different plants that they find in the wild. That is why they will attack your yard if you give them a chance.

Raccoons consume plenty of apples, blackberries, and cherries, which they find available in a mixed or deciduous forest. A large part of their diet consists of nuts such as acorns, especially in the colder months.

Raccoons have adapted to life in forests easily due to their bodies. They have long tails to help them balance and large hands for climbing. This allows them to jump from tree to tree in search of fruit.

Raccoons will travel during the day and night to find a food supply. They do this to find new stores of raw vegetables and various types of fruit and nuts. Raccoons eat more vegetables when they are readily available to survive when there is less food.  They can also eat fresh leaves.

Due to the almost unlimited supply of fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts in the wild, these make up a large part of their diet. Nuts, fruits, and vegetables are considered their favorite foods in the winter seasons. Different vegetables and fruits grow throughout the year, and raccoons have a varied diet.

Why do raccoons eat tomatoes?

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a fruit from the nightshade family native to South America.

Despite botanically being a fruit, it’s generally eaten and prepared like a vegetable.

Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

Usually red when mature, tomatoes can also come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, green, and purple. What’s more, many subspecies of tomatoes exist with different shapes and flavor.


Raccoons eat tomatoes among many other fruits and vegetables. They are a great treat for them and will attract raccoons to your yard. Make sure you protect your crop from raccoons and other pests.

Tomatoes are very healthy. They are a great source of several nutrients that raccoons will find hard to find in other plants. 

Raccoons are opportunistic when it comes to eating. They do not rely on tomatoes as an essential part of their diet. Instead, they eat whatever they can find in the wilderness and in urban areas. That’s why they are satisfied with leftovers in garbage cans and they will definitely enjoy eating your crop.

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