Do Deer Eat Tomatoes?

Do deer eat tomatoes? Yes, deer can eat tomatoes from your garden. They love to eat strawberries, raspberries, and other kinds of beans. There are some ways to control deer damage to your tomato plant.

Do Deer Eat Tomatoes?

Do Deer Eat Tomato Plants?

This is a common query among beginning gardeners. According to the Oregon State University Extension Office, deer consume over 500 plants, many of which may be found in vegetable gardens and tomato plants.

While some would suppose that only gardens in the countryside are included, you’d be mistaken. Researchers from Texas University conducted research that found deer living in the urban environment.

Considering this, you may wonder how to keep your prized plants safe from deer “attacks” today. A deer-proof garden and what other vegetables they feed on will be discussed in this article.

Determine who has been munching on your tomato plants by examining the damage to different parts of the plant and where it is situated on the plant. There is a good chance that chipmunks or squirrels are nibbling on the ripe or almost ripe tomatoes at the top of the vine. Birds, on the other hand, may leave telltale holes in the fruit.


Deer may be the perpetrator if anything is eating your tomato plants. All sections of tomato plants are fair game for them, as they require up to seven pounds of plant food daily. First, let’s look at the damage and be sure deer caused it before we discuss how to safeguard tomatoes.

What Other Plants Do Deer Eat?

Deer aren’t the only garden pests that might harm your tomatoes. These are just a handful of the many plants that deer love to munch on in your garden. To get a more thorough list of deer-preferred and deer-resistant plants in your area, check with your local extension office. Remember that deer preferences vary from location to region, especially regarding more regional flora.


  • Blueberries

  • Apples

  • Cherries

  • Plums

  • Strawberries


  • Hostas

  • Azaleas

  • Arborvitae

  • Tulips

  • Daylilies

  • Roses


  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Beets

  • Beans and Peas

  • Lettuce

  • Sweetcorn

  • Carrot Tops

  • Spinach

What Can You Do to Prevent Deer from Eating Your Tomatoes?

A tall and solid fence is the solution to keep any deer far from your tomato plants. Here are a few alternatives for those who like to keep their gardens private but want to keep their property safe.

1. Using deer deterrents is the first step.

Some herbs and vegetables are disliked by deer, while they love others. The easiest approach to keep Bambi away is to plant a few deer deterrents. Some plants to think about include:

  • Iris

  • Hot peppers

  • Rosemary

  • Garlic

  • Sage

  • Yucca

  • Chives

  • Foxgloves

  • Bee balm

2. Spray repellents

Other repellent treatments can keep deer away from your tomato plants. There are a few ready-to-use products on the market, or you may build your natural sprays by combining water and other natural substances.

3. Alternative methods

You may also use motion-activated sprayers that shoot cold water at deer when they get too close to your plants or ultrasonic devices that make a loud noise to keep them away from your land.

4. Install a Fence

The simplest answer is to put up a fence around your garden. But did you know deer can simply hop over a six-foot-high barrier to eat your tomato crops and then depart when they are full?

You should make a fence at least eight feet high if you wish to enclose your entire garden in a protective barrier. You may want to construct an electric fence to keep deer and other animals out of your garden.

5. Build a Cage

Installing a wooden or electric fence is expensive, even if it is successful. For those on a budget, a tiny fence or cage around their tomato plants may be a viable alternative.

You may create this barrier from strong gauge wire and make it around your vegetable patch to keep deer away. For this reason, it’s critical to completely enclose the makeshift enclosure, especially at the top, so that deer can’t get their heads stuck in and start nibbling on the plants.

6. Lay Down Fencing Wire

Another approach to keep deer away from your tomato plants is to cover the ground with a thick layer of fence wire. Deers probably will probably avoid your vegetable garden since they are afraid of sharp items.

7. Ultrasonics

Lastly, you can also purchase ultrasonic items that come with a satisfaction guarantee that they will keep deer and other animals away. These items produce a sound at a high frequency that sensitive animals can only hear, like deer and other similar species.

Note: This form of the barrier may be inexpensive and simple to set up, but it will not provide complete protection against these non-violent species. To avoid electrocuting anyone accidentally touching the fence, ensure it only emits a minor electric shock.

Do Deer Eat Tomatoes?

The answer to this inquiry is “yes” and “no”. The bright red fruit, a mainstay in nearly all cuisines worldwide, is said by experts to not be very appealing to deer. When hungry, however, these creatures will eat everything they can get their mouths on, even leaves and delicate stalks.

To put it another way, deer, in their search for food, will eat virtually any plant they come across, including the tomatoes you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. It is also important to note that a single adult deer may ingest 5 kilogrammes (about 12 pounds) of foliage in a single day.


Therefore, if these critters were likely to see your tomato plants while peeping into your garden, there is a considerable probability that they may consume the leaves to satisfy their hunger. In the process, they may even take out the roots.

Are Tomato Plants Toxic to Deer?

The family Solanaceae, sometimes known as the nightshade family, includes tomatoes. Solanine is a chemical that may be poisonous to both people and animals and can be found in several plants’ leaves, stems, and unripe fruit.

There is a good chance that the deer won’t suffer too much harm even if they consume a couple of the leaves off your tomato plant. On the other hand, consuming a significant amount of solanine may be detrimental to their health. In addition, this chemical molecule might be lethal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

Do Deer Repellents Work?

There is a wide variety of deer repellent available on the market today, and although some people swear by it, others dismiss it as a load of nonsense. Is it true that any of them are effective?

  • It is conditional, as is the case with many things. Sprays designed to ward off deer are available in two distinct varieties: area repellents and contact repellents.

  • To keep deer away from the garden, area repellents emit an odour that is either unpleasant or terrifying, similar to the smell of urine left by predators.

  • Granules and sprays are also available for this sort of deer repellent, so there is no need to choose between the two.

  • The plants are sprayed with a contact repellent that gives them an unpleasant taste, such as putrefied eggs, cloves, garlic, and/or capsaicin. This prevents the insects from feeding on the plants.

  • When applying sprays to vegetable plants, be sure to use natural products that have been specifically labelled for use on food crops.

  • Applying repellents early and frequently will have the best benefits (according to package directions).


If the deer have not yet formed the routine of nibbling on the plants, there is a good chance that they will be less adamant about doing so. It is also a good idea to mix deer repellents regularly so that the deer don’t become used to one of them and stop paying attention.


Some related questions are given below:

1 - Do deer eat tomato plants?

Tomatoes are a well-known deer food. They eat the leaves and stems of tomato plants, although they don’t enjoy the fruit. Typical deer populations may decimate your garden’s crops in no time under normal circumstances. Deer can, however, be deterred from eating your vegetables if you apply a variety of deterrents.

2 - Where do deer go to get food?

Every day, deer will walk up to a mile to eat. The vast majority of individuals are unaware of how far they can go. Deer may come to your land even if you don’t live exactly next to the woods, as long as there is reasonable proximity. As well as the tomatoes and other crops in your garden, which may be the source of their interest.

3 - Is there a deer problem in my garden?

Other plants in your garden may also be at risk from deer. Aside from chard and strawberries, the deer also enjoy raspberries and several types of legumes.

4 - Do deer eat tomatoes or cucumbers?

Cucumbers and some squash kinds with hairy skins are unappealing to deer, as are prickly vegetables like those. Tomatoes, peppers, carrot roots, eggplant, asparagus, leeks, and globe artichokes are some other foods deer don’t like.

5 - Will squirrels eat tomatoes?

A tomato can be eaten entirely by squirrels, or they might eat just a little and leave the rest behind. Beans, squash, cucumbers, and eggplants are all favourites of squirrels. Not enough greenery. Seedlings may be found in the soil, or they may be entirely gone.

6 - Is it possible for deer to eat tomatoes from the vine?

Yes, deer will eat tomatoes directly from the vine and the tomato plant. And they’re not the only ones that eat tomatoes from the vine! ’ Deer eat a wide variety of foods because they need to eat so much to keep healthy.

7 - Is it safe for deer to eat tomato leaves?

The deer is not dangerous if it consumes a few leaves from your tomato plant. On the other hand, large doses of solanine might be hazardous to their health. This chemical molecule is also lethal in high doses.

8 - Does the sound of wind chimes scare away deer?

Adding wind chimes or even the static from a radio can be enough to scare away deer since they are so frightened. They’ll be scared to approach you if you do anything strange or strange-looking.

9 - What won’t deer eat?

Flower toxicity is one of the most prevalent reasons deer avoid popular flowers like daffodils, foxgloves and poppies. Deer likewise avoid fragrant plants with powerful odours. Deer don’t enjoy the smell of sage, ornamental salvia, lavender, or flowers like peonies and bearded irises.

10 - How much do deer consume daily?

Each day, a deer may consume between 6% and 8% of its body weight in food. That translates to 10-12 pounds of food daily for a deer weighing 160 pounds. In the spring, they can consume up to 4 pounds per day, while in the winter, they may eat up to 5 pounds per day. Garden plants may provide a lot of food. Therefore it’s a good idea to safeguard them.


Some easy and efficient methods will help keep your tomatoes and other plants secure from deer, even if they’re a deer’s favourite food! Deer won’t trouble your tomatoes again if you choose the best method and it is easy to implement. Even though deer may consume a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees, they are mostly herbivores.

Depending on where they dwell, deer can consume various plants depending on what is available. Unluckily, if you live in a forested region, chances are good that you’ll have to deal with a few deer in your yard. It’s no secret that deer adore eating leaves. Your vegetable garden may be a tempting target if they’re peckish.

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