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Do Possums Eat Tomatoes?

Do Possums Eat Tomatoes?

By Mildred T Koerner on May 16, 2023

Have you ever wondered if your garden tomatoes are safe from the prying paws of possums?

Possums, also known as opossums, are omnivorous creatures that have a reputation for being opportunistic feeders.

With their sharp claws and keen sense of smell, they can easily sneak into vegetable gardens in search of tasty treats.

But do these furry critters actually have a taste for juicy tomatoes? The answer is not straightforward.

While possums are known to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, berries, corn, and carrots, their preference for tomatoes may vary depending on several factors such as location, season, and availability of food sources.

In this article, we will explore whether or not possums enjoy munching on ripe red tomatoes and provide tips on how to protect your tomato plants from these curious marsupials.

So let's dive in and discover the truth about possums and tomatoes!

The Omnivorous Nature Of Possums

Possums are fascinating creatures with an omnivorous diet, meaning they consume both plants and animals.

They are opportunistic eaters and will feed on whatever food source is available to them.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that possums will devour tomatoes in your garden.

While possums have been known to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, persimmons, and squash, their diet primarily consists of insects, rodents, small mammals, birds' eggs, carrion, and even other possums.

In fact, they are more likely to be tomato predators than tomato consumers if there is a large population of pests such as slugs or snails feeding on the fruit.

Factors Affecting Possums' Tomato Consumption

The availability of tomatoes plays a significant role in the diet of possums.

When there is an abundance of ripe, juicy tomatoes, possums are more likely to consume them as a part of their regular diet.

However, when tomato availability decreases, possums may turn to other food sources that are easier to find and consume.

Another factor affecting possums' tomato consumption is population density.

In areas with high densities of possums, competition for resources becomes fierce and can lead to changes in dietary habits.

For example, if one area has a higher concentration of possums than another, those living in the latter area may have better access to fresh vegetables like tomatoes.

Possums also enjoy consuming various fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, figs, and bananas.

They tend to prefer sweet-tasting foods over bitter ones but will eat whatever they can find depending on the season and availability.

Therefore it's important not only to understand what kind of food interests these marsupials but also how different factors affect their dietary habits so we can help protect their habitats from being destroyed by human activities or natural disasters.

Possums' Preference For Other Fruits And Vegetables

After learning about the various factors that affect possums' tomato consumption, it's natural to wonder what other fruits and vegetables they prefer.

Interestingly enough, possums have a particular fondness for berries. They are especially drawn to blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Possums also enjoy leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach. However, their preference for berries is much stronger.

This is likely due to the high sugar content found in many types of berries. While they may occasionally snack on tomatoes or leafy greens if nothing else is available, these foods are not at the top of their list.

Tips For Protecting Your Tomato Plants

Taking care of tomato plants can be a rewarding experience, but it's not always easy.

One of the biggest challenges is dealing with pests that love to munch on your juicy tomatoes.

However, there are some natural ways to control these pests and ensure that your tomato plants thrive.

One way to protect your tomato plants from pests is by practicing good tomato plant care.

This includes regularly pruning and staking your plants, as well as keeping them properly watered and fertilized.

Healthy plants are less likely to fall prey to pests like aphids or spider mites.

Additionally, you can try using companion planting techniques, such as planting marigolds or basil alongside your tomato plants, which can help deter certain types of insects.

Conclusion: Possums And Tomatoes - A Complicated Relationship

Well, well, well. It seems our furry little friends have quite the appetite for tomatoes.

Who knew possums could be such a threat to your precious garden harvest?

But before you go calling pest control and setting traps, let's take a closer look at the possums' diet.

While possums are omnivores and will eat almost anything they can get their paws on, including insects, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even small animals like mice or birds, it is true that they do have a particular fondness for ripe tomatoes.

In fact, some studies have shown that up to 10% of tomato crops in certain regions may be lost due to possum damage.

However, this doesn't mean all hope is lost for your tomato plants.

There are several ways to deter these masked bandits from feasting on your fruit without harming them or disrupting the natural ecosystem.

So next time you catch a glimpse of those beady eyes glowing in the darkness as they sneak into your garden plot, remember that while their impact on tomato harvest can be frustrating, there are simple solutions available to keep both you and your garden safe.


In conclusion, possums and tomatoes have a complicated relationship.

While possums are omnivores and may occasionally eat tomatoes, their preference for other fruits and vegetables makes it less likely that they will target your tomato plants specifically.

However, if you want to protect your beloved crop from these cute but pesky critters, there are some tips you can follow.

One option is to install fencing or netting around your garden beds. Another is to use natural deterrents like garlic or hot pepper spray.

Whatever method you choose, remember that nature has its own way of balancing things out.

So even if a few tomatoes end up being eaten by possums, the beauty of watching them grow and ripen in your backyard is worth it in the end.



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