To deter squirrels from tomatoes, HGTV suggests using scents, commercial deterrents, fencing or food alternatives. The Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley recommends using deterrents, rather than harming squirrels, to protect tomatoes and other garden plants and preserve local ecosystems.
Scents, such as garlic, may keep squirrels away from tomatoes. Scents should be applied frequently, particularly after rain, to maintain effectiveness. According to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, a spray made with onion, jalapeño and cayenne pepper deters most pests. The affected areas should be sprayed weekly.
HGTV states that squirrels will eat more desirable foods when provided with an alternative to tomatoes. Adding a feeder filled with seeds and nuts to the garden may prevent damage to tomatoes, but may also increase the local squirrel population. According to HGTV, fencing the garden in may keep squirrels out of tomatoes. Raised bed gardens and burying the bottom edge of the fence aids in preventing squirrels from reaching the tomatoes and other produce in the garden.
According to the Brantford Expositor, squirrels avoid noise and motion. Pinwheels, or disposable pie tins tied to stakes, produce enough noise and motion to frighten most squirrels when placed along the garden's borders. The Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley recommends installing a plastic owl or hawk in a tree near the garden to deter squirrels and other pests. The plastic predator should be moved often to ensure squirrels perceive the owl or hawk as a threat.