The top ways to keep mice off tomato plants is to remove hiding places around your tomato beds, place solar powered repellers around your garden beds and protect young tomato seedlings in a greenhouse. Make sure you clean up any excess pet food to avoid attracting mice to your garden and use 50% shade cloth around your garden bed.
Top 7 ways to keep mice off tomato plants
1. Remove hiding places
Keeping the area around your tomato patch clear of hiding places for mice can stop them snacking on your tomatoes. Mice will like to have shelter nearby when they eat so move away any old bricks, timber or plant material so they can’t find that shelter near your tomatoes.
Mice won’t like exposing themselves to open areas to get to your tomato plants so remove the protection of hiding spots around your garden.
2. Use 50% Shade cloth
Using shade cloth to prevent mice from entering your garden bed can be the perfect way to protect your tomato plants. Place posts in the corners of your garden bed and place shade cloth around the outside. Attach it tightly to create a barrier to stop mice from wandering into your tomato beds.
3. Solar powered repellers
These send ultrasonic pulses which mice hate and can deter them from your yard without the need to use poisons. These are solar powered so will charge during the day. They can be placed around your tomato beds to keep mice away from your plants.
4. Keep pet food away
Keep pet food away from your vegetable garden areas as this will attract mice. When they have finished snacking on leftover pet food, they can head to your vegetable patch to snack on tomatoes.
Chicken coops are a perfect hiding place for mice where they can chew on the chicken food and shelter amongst the hay. Make sure there is not excess chicken food scattered around by using a gradual feeder.
Mice will also visit your yad if you leave cat or dog biscuits in your yard. Only feed your pets the amount of food they can eat and remove the rest. This will stop mice from smelling the food and being attracted to the area.
Mice can attack young tomato seedlings and can chew through the stem in a few bites. This can be terrible if you have grown your tomatoes by seed and wake up to see them chewed off at the stem. While mice will rarely eat the tomato plant they will chew on and damage the stems.
Place them in a greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out.
Check out this small greenhouse from Amazon for an easy start to protect your tomato plants.
6. Natural mouse repellant
Mice hate strong smells like peppermint, eucalyptus or lavender oil. These natural oils can be placed on the outside of your garden beds or pots. You can also use a pre-made natural mouse repellant which will contain natural oils. Check out this one from Amazon below.
7. Plants that deter mice
Plant mint, lavender and onions around the outside of your tomato beds. These strong smelling plants will deter mice as they hate the strong smells that come from these plants. Create a border of lavender which will look great, attract pollinators and deter mice from your garden.
Mint can be planted in pots and moved around your garden, near your tomatoes to deter mice.
How to tell if mice have eaten my tomatoes
Mice have small mouths so you will notice very tiny teeth marks and holes in any tomatoes left on your plant. Mice will tear whole tomatoes off particularly cherry tomatoes as they are smaller.
You will often see tomatoes left on the ground underneath your plants if mice have come to visit your plants. They will eat a small amount and leave the rest under your plant. It is important to remove any tomatoes that are on the ground to avoid attracting more mice or insects.
Mice eating tomato plants – FAQ
Mice will chew on tomato stems and fruit damaging the plant and destroying your crop. Mice can nibble on the tomato stems without eating the plant. They often chew on the stems to sharpen their teeth without eating the plant.
Mice will eat the tomatoes as they are sweet and a great snack for mice. Protective barriers are the best way to prevent mice from damaging your tomato plants. Surround your tomato bed with strong smelling plants like lavender and mint to drive the mice away.
Keep tomato plants pest free naturally by planting them in good quality soil which will grow healthy plants which will be more resistant to pests. Feed them with pelleted chicken manure and seaweed solution to improve their root system. Treat pests quickly with eco oil and stop mice with a shade cloth barrier.
Deter mice with strong smelling plants like mint, rosemary, lavender or chives. Place ultrasonic mice deterrents around your garden beds and remove any areas of protection for the mice. Remove rubbish including bricks, wood or old plants.
Mice are naturally living in our suburbs and regional areas so it is likely that you will see one in your yard at some point. Seeing one mouse is not a problem but they may be just one of a large population that can find a home in your yard. If you see more than 1 then it may be time to take action to deter mice from your garden.
Mice can breed quickly so two mice can quickly turn into a swarm in a few weeks. Natural traps should be your last resort but work on deterring them first and cleaning up your yard to reduce the space for them to live.
How to keep mice off tomato plants | Summary
Mice can be kept off tomato plants as simply as protecting your plants with a shade cloth barrier. Raise your seedlings in a green house and allow them to grow large enough to survive outside. Once seedlings are large enough they will be ok if a mouse nibbles on the stem but you will need to grow them large enough to survive mice bites.
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I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.