Facebook Pinterest Twitter Last updated on November 4th, 2022Do you have strawberry plants in your backyard that fills the air with a lovely fragrance and brightens up your home garden?
We know you just can’t wait to have a heavenly strawberry dessert after the harvesting is done!However, do you know that we’re not the only ones who love to snack on strawberries?They’re numerous animal species that love these mouthwatering red strawberries too!
And that’s why you may often find your berries half-eaten or drilled in a particular fashion.But it’s time to find out which wildlife may be the culprit in eating your strawberries.Animals that eat strawberries:SquirrelsRaccoonsChipmunkBirdsInsectsDeerRabbitsMarmotsTortoisesTurtlesHamstersGuinea PigsPossumsBelow we list the common animals that snack on strawberries and a few tips on how you can protect your crop.In This Article List of animals that eat strawberries!1.
PossumsFAQ RoundupWhat animals eat strawberry plants?What animals eat strawberry leaves?What animals eat strawberries at night?Which wild animals eat strawberries?What insects eat strawberries?List of animals that eat strawberries!1.
Yes, squirrels are highly energetic, and they eat fruits with great enthusiasm.Squirrels love to eat all kinds of berries that they’ll find, such as strawberries, blueberries, mulberries, raspberries, blackberries, and many others.Do you know that squirrels also love feeding on other fruits like bananas, melons, and cherries?The sugar levels in strawberries rise about 10% when ripe so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that squirrels are attracted to this fruit.As the strawberry reaches the peak level upon ripening, the cell walls begin to break down which allows this fruit to become juicy.It’s no wonder that this fruit is targeted by these fruit-eating animals since it’s so soft and sweet.As we all know, squirrels live on trees for most of their day and feed on various plant crops.These rodent species can also find your garden or backyard an excellent place to search for food.2.
RaccoonsRaccoons are omnivores that are notorious for eating and damaging sweet corn crops.However, these species don’t spare other plants like strawberries, melons, potatoes, peas, and tree fruits.Gardeners often find it challenging to keep these creatures away from their crops.Here’s a tip.
You can use repellent sprays as they provide some protection.
But you may need to apply these sprays frequently to effectively keep them away from your favorite crops.Also, you must apply the repellant more often after watering your plants or after rainfall.If you use drip irrigation and live in dry climates, repellent sprays would be highly effective.You can also use a wildlife net that’s animal friendly to wrap around your strawberry plant which will help to keep these animals at bay.But you might be thinking to yourself “won’t this net damage the strawberry crop?”Well, in this case, you can use 2 or 3 plant pots that are 10-20 inches high (depending on how big your plant is) with drainage holes on the sides.Turn the plant pots upside down and place them over your strawberry crops and then you could place the netting over the pots giving your plant ample space to grow while preventing animals from eating it.To prevent raccoons and squirrels from crawling underneath, you can place rocks alongside the edges of the netting to hold it down.We wrote an entire article about raccoons eating strawberries which you can check out over there.3.
ChipmunksIf you want to attract chipmunks to your garden, you could put out some strawberries, but putting out the fruits themselves is not advisable because they don’t fall under the standard foods that chipmunks eat in the wild.Nevertheless, chipmunks are opportunistic feeders and will consume anything edible that crosses their path.Chipmunks are the type of animals that will seek out food during the day because doing so at night limits their visibility and works as a disadvantage.But a quick bite of this juicy red fruit, who can blame them?After reaching its peak level of ripeness, the strawberry’s cell walls begin to break down, which allows it to become juicy.It’s no wonder that this fruit is targeted by these fruit-eating animals since it’s so soft and sweet.Want to know more about chipmunks eating strawberries?
BirdsHow can we forget about birds when we literally see them feed on different kinds of fruits!Strawberries are the favorites of birds as well, and many bird species like crows, robins, blue jays, etc., love to snack on these luscious red berries!We love to have lots of different birds on our trees and plants.
However, when they start destroying our crops, we need to take action to keep these fruit-eating birds away.To keep them away from strawberry plants, you can hang metallic tapes or even tins around the berry plant area.
In this manner, birds will get frightened and won’t ruin your plants.However, keep in mind that these solutions are temporary, and birds may become habituated and visit your crops again.In that case, you can go for bird netting that has ¼-inch holes.
These are quite inexpensive and are effective in protecting your berries.Another effective way to keep birds away from your strawberry plants is through the use of barrier or exclusion methods, which will make it difficult for numerous bird and animal species to reach your berries.You can use chicken wire having a few 1-inch holes and spread it over your berries.
This will also keep birds away from your plants.But you need to keep in mind that this method won’t work in keeping away raccoons and squirrels as they have the ability to crawl under the wire.Alternatively, you can place a custom-made PVC pipe loop tunnel or build a wooden frame to protect your strawberry plants.At the time of harvesting, you simply need to remove the frame by lifting it gently out of the way.5.
InsectsThese invertebrates almost go unnoticed due to their minuscular sizes, but they can cause greater damage to your crops than any other animal species.Insects like aphids and earwigs are common pests that cause significant damage to our strawberry plants.To keep these harmful insects away from your strawberries, try burying shallow containers of beer at the ground level.When you place this around your strawberry plant, it’ll attract insects like snails and slugs, which will cause them to drown in it, thus keeping your plants protected.However, as you can see from the image above, snails can crawl up the plant stem, not necessarily from the ground but from another closeby plant.The best solution for this would be to closely monitor your strawberries and pick them off when ripe.On the other hand, to get rid of aphids, you can spray some ready-to-use insecticidal soap solution on your strawberry leaves.You can cover both the top and the bottom sides of the leaves and ensure that you use the spray on a cool day.Avoid applying this on a bright sunny day as it may burn your strawberry plants.Can I use insecticidal soap on my plants?Don’t worry; insecticidal soaps are safer than most other pesticides, and hence, you can use them liberally.However, before eating the fruit, always wash it thoroughly as the insecticidal soap may cause indigestion, eye and skin irritation, or vomiting if someone accidentally ingests it.On the other hand, if you want to catch earwigs, you can place wet, rolled-up newspaper sheets on your berries.Earwigs will come to have some shelter there.
DeerThe primary diet of deer includes leaves and various plant parts.
But they can also find these tempting fruits tasty and even end up trampling on your plants.Since strawberries are extremely sweet when they’re ripe, it comes as no surprise that these are the most sought-after fruits for deer.You can protect your berry plants from deer by using mesh hardware cloth of a minimum width of 6 feet.This mesh helps build a strong and protective cylinder around the plant.
You can either do this around each plant or select a small gardening area.Since deer can’t dig holes you can easily encircle your plant using the mesh cloth and sink it about 6 inches deep underground for a firm grip.Here is a further explanation as to why deer eat strawberries.7.
Rabbits are extremely clever, and they can spend a good amount of time munching on your strawberry fruits.Rabbits will also feed on foliage and other tender parts of the strawberry plant to balance off the high sugar content present in the fruit.Rabbits have a particular sweet tooth for these red berries and wild rabbits, especially, love eating small berries.If you have a pet rabbit and it’s always found near a berry plant, try including numerous kinds of berries in its diet.For instance, you can feed them different kinds of berries, including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries.8.
MarmotsApart from rabbits, marmots also love the taste of strawberries and some of them can even damage the crop just to nibble on a few.You might even face mysterious disappearances of your berries.
If you’re a gardener, you may have already noticed this every morning.To protect your strawberry plants from marmots, you can build a wooden cage and install a wire mesh over the cage to avoid approaching animals from entering this enclosure.Unfortunately, fencing won’t always help to keep rabbits and other rodents away from your strawberry plants.It’s because these culprits have the ability to dig underground holes and come up to your garden to feed on these mouthwatering berries.9.
Tortoises and TurtlesFruit-eating tortoises can eat strawberries as well as tropical fruits.Although tortoises aren’t common creatures that would be roaming in the backyard or garden, turtles, however, may be around, especially when a pond or some other water body is nearby.Strawberries have a high sugar content and this can be harmful to your little shelled creatures when given in high quantities on a regular basis.However, you can include an occasional piece of strawberry in your turtle’s diet as a nice treat.If you have Mediterranean or desert turtles as pets, you need to keep them away from old strawberry plants that are beginning to decay because the old leaves release hydrogen cyanide gas which can be very toxic for turtles and tortoises.In addition, you should make sure that there isn’t any rotting vegetation close by so that your tortoise doesn’t get sick with something poisonous.Interested in reading more about turtles eating strawberries?
HamstersHamsters can eat strawberries quite comfortably without hurting themselves.
If you have a hamster as a pet, you can feed about a teaspoon of tiny slices of strawberry once or twice every week.However, give these berries to your pet sparingly as large amounts would spoil the creatures easily, and they’ll want more of it.After feeding strawberries to your hamster, remember to remove the leftover fruit from the pen or cage as it may cause mold growth, which can be hazardous to your pet’s health.11.
Guinea PigsStrawberries are actually great to supplement a guinea pig‘s diet.You can serve around 1-2 small-sized strawberries to your pet once or twice per week – not more than that.These fruits have great nutritional value for guinea pigs since it also provides them with many health benefits.Also, the top of the strawberries is edible and safe for your guinea pigs to eat, unlike the top of a tomato, which is toxic to them.So, don’t waste the strawberry tops while preparing a nice dessert for your family or guinea pigs.12.
PossumsPossums may become attracted to your garden once strawberries begin to ripen but who can blame them, this fruit is sweet and juicy!Possums prefer ripe fruits and when it comes to raw strawberries, they will avoid them at all costs because of their bitter taste.It’s worth noting that strawberries are not toxic to possums but any that is contaminated with pesticides or insecticides, can cause the animal to suffer toxic shock.Interested in learning more about possums eating strawberries?
Check out that article for more information.FAQ RoundupWhat animals eat strawberry plants?The animals that eat strawberry plants are deer, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, groundhogs, and birds.
These wild animals prefer foraging for food in gardens and can severely damage strawberry plants in their wake.Despite what many people believe, ants don’t harm strawberries but will only secrete the honeydew.What animals eat strawberry leaves?The animals that eat strawberry leaves are rabbits, guinea pigs, chipmunks, birds, and deer.
The stems and green top part of the leaves from strawberry plants are safe for these animals to eat.What animals eat strawberries at night?The animals that eat strawberries at night are flying squirrels, rats, wild rabbits, and hamsters.
These nocturnal creatures will come out at night to forage for food whether that be fruits or vegetables in your garden.Which wild animals eat strawberries?The wild animals that can eat strawberries are as follows:1.
Anyone I know of love strawberries.
That got me to wonder if there are any animals out there that share our love for strawberries.
So, what animals eat strawberries?
Many wild animals like raccoons, squirrels, and deer cause a ruckus when they try to steal and eat strawberries from homegrown gardens.
These animals eat strawberries for various reasons; some treat strawberries as a source of nutrients, while other animals see strawberries as a sweet snack.
Below is a list of animals that are obsessed with strawberries as we are:
12 Animals That Love to Eat StrawberriesSquirrelsRaccoonsDeerRabbitsMarmotsTurtlesHamstersGuinea PigsBearded DragonsBirdsInsectsFAQs on Animals That Eat StrawberriesDo Ladybug Eat Strawberries?How to Keep Animals Away From You Strawberry Plants?Conclusion – What Animals Eat Strawberries?
12 Animals That Love to Eat Strawberries
Scientific Name: Sciuridae
Every time a squirrel is spotted, it is nibbling something.
As an energetic little critter, the squirrel enjoys eating fruits and berries.
That includes feasting on strawberries.
Strawberries are a sweet and delicious treat for squirrels.
Once the strawberries ripen, the sugar increases, and no wonder squirrels are crazy about eating them.
Squirrels live on trees and spend a lot of time targeting various plants and crops.
It includes visiting one’s garden and backyard.
If one does have strawberries in their yard, prepare for squirrels to visit.
They will be more than happy to find tricks to make sure they snatch your strawberry treat.
Fortunately, there are some remedies to repel these squirrels.
Related: Animals That Eat Oranges
Scientific Name: Procyon lotor
Raccoons spend time searching and digging through places and spots they think they can find treats.
Every time they do their search, they destroy crops and plants.
In the process, raccoons may also spread dirt and trash all over the place.
Like squirrels, raccoons are also attracted to the sweet taste of strawberries.
They will try to steal every strawberry in one’s yard.
One way to repel raccoons (and squirrels) is to apply repellant spray on the strawberries.
However, you must maintain spraying these strawberries.
Another way is to use a wildlife net if spraying a repellant is not a choice.
Scientific Name: Cervidae
Deer are herbivores, meaning they are animals that eat plants only.
However, they have a wide range of diets, including grasses, crops, acorns, forbs, woody plants, etc.
One of the fruits that make deer get excited is strawberries.
They have a strong appetite and are happy to try any new fruit on their way.
Deer are quite a problem for plant owners near deer-infested regions.
They enter yards and will eat every fruits and vegetable they can spot.
Some plant owners install cylindrical mesh around their plants to protect their strawberries.
This method is usually practiced as deer cannot dig around the plant.
However, deer can return anytime as they are lured to try and snatch the berries.
Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
If you have a pet rabbit, then strawberries are one of the best sweet treats you can give.
Even in the wild, rabbits love to eat strawberries, including the plant shoot.
Their love for strawberries makes sense as this fruit contains fiber and nutrients.
However, rabbits shouldn’t keep eating them.
Strawberries are also rich in sugar and can affect the rabbit’s teeth’ overall health.
You can feed them strawberries a maximum of three times a week.
The green leafy part of the strawberry is also safe for the rabbit to eat.
In fact, they love the small greens included.
Ensure to feed your rabbits strawberries only when they are at least three months old.
Scientific Name: Marmota
Another animal that loves eating strawberries is marmots.
These omnivore creatures mainly eat grasses, roots, mosses, and berries.
But, marmots are also more than happy to take strawberries from your yard.
This giant squirrel will also destroy your crops in the process of stealing your strawberries.
In protecting your strawberries from marmots, you can use a mesh.
Make sure to install a wooden cage around the plant first for extra stability.
You know it is bad news once you see a hole in your yard.
So, you also need to look after your plant now and then to keep away the marmots.
Scientific Name: Testudines
Even when hiding on their shells, turtles cannot hide for long in the sight of a strawberry.
This amphibian will race towards the fruit in no time.
Turtles also include strawberries as one of the fruits in their diet.
To achieve it, they consume strawberries for calcium.
A strawberry contains 27 mg of calcium, a great way to start its calcium intake.
Turtles can consume strawberries perfectly fine unless they have an allergy to the fruit.
But similar to every other pet, the number of strawberries to be consumed must be limited.
Strawberries are also high in sugar, so the number of strawberries to be consumed must be in proportion to the turtle’s size.
Scientific Name: Cricetinae
If you have a pet hamster, you can treat them with strawberries.
Hamsters can comfortably eat them without choking.
Just make sure to chop the strawberries before serving them to your pet.
And, you must limit the hamster’s strawberry diet to once every week.
You can feed them at least twice a week as long as you only give them a quarter of a teaspoon of chopped strawberry.
Strawberries are not an essential part of hamsters’ diet.
This sweet berry is more of a treat for hamsters.
However, make sure to keep your hamsters in a cage if you have a strawberry plant.
Scientific Name: Cavia porcellus
Guinea pigs are another popular pet that loves to eat strawberries.
Strawberries are a great fruit to include in this rodent’s diet.
Like hamsters, guinea pigs can only consume one to two small-sized strawberries a week.
Strawberries are also safe for guinea pigs to consume.
This sweet fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
So it is essential to consider fruits, like strawberries, in their diet.
Guinea pigs can damage their digestion tract when they overate on strawberries.
Not only that, but they can also develop obesity due to the sugar content of strawberries.
Read Also: Animals That Eat Only Fruit
Scientific Name: Pogona
The bearded dragon is probably the most exciting animal on this list of animals that eat strawberries.
People who do not take care of them do not have an idea they eat fruits.
Strawberries are an essential part of the bearded dragon’s diet because of calcium.
Like other animals, the bearded dragon can only eat strawberries in moderation.
Strawberries are sweet treats and can adversely impact the reptile’s sugar level.
Besides calcium, the bearded dragon does not get any other nutritional value from strawberries.
In preparing the strawberries for your reptile, clean them thoroughly.
Pick smaller size strawberries to avoid choking.
But, if you do not have a choice, you can chop the strawberries instead.
Scientific Name: Aves
Birds almost eat everything they can peck.
Bird breeds like crow, robins and blue jays have the same favorite fruits.
These birds are addicted to eating strawberries.
Besides tasting good, strawberry is a great source of nutrition for these birds.
They do not need special preparation, as strawberries are soft to peck.
One can hang metallic tins around the strawberry plant to protect it.
Plant owners can also install mesh and chicken wire around the plant.
Scientific Name: Insecta
Another animal that eats strawberries is an insect.
Due to their small sizes, they usually go unnoticed for some time.
It will be too late once you realize that the strawberries got damaged.
Each insect consumes the strawberries in different ways.
Some insects eat a minuscule amount of strawberries, leaving tiny holes in them.
Any bitten hole in the strawberry already indicates that it is rotten.
Besides insects, snails and slugs are also common strawberry pests.
They cause significant damage to strawberries, making them inedible for humans.
The simplest way to prevent them from damaging strawberries is to watch over the fruits from time to time.
Pick any snail or insect from approaching the strawberries.
FAQs on Animals That Eat Strawberries
Do Ladybug Eat Strawberries?
Yes. Just like other insects, ladybugs enjoy eating strawberries.
Ladybugs enjoy high-sugar content snacks, like fruits.
If you keep ladybugs as pets, you can try feeding them re-hydrated strawberries.
Re-hydrated strawberries are sweeter than freshly picked ones.
Although they love strawberries, ladybugs are still carnivores.
They are great to have around your home garden.
Ladybugs ensure that no insect can destroy your plant and flowers.
But, if you have strawberries in your garden, ladybugs will probably start snacking on them.
How to Keep Animals Away From You Strawberry Plants?
The simple way to keep animals away from your strawberry plants is to spray repellents.
You must spray the plants now and then.
Another way is to install a fence around your strawberry plant.
You might need to exert more effort and money, but it is a physical barrier against animals.
The only problem you may encounter are animals that dig holes and insects.
So, you still need to be on the lookout for these animals.
You can also mix the two remedies to increase your strawberry plant’s protection.
Conclusion – What Animals Eat Strawberries?
There are many examples of animals that eat strawberries; however, raccoons, squirrels, and deer are most likely to feed on these fruits in your garden.
Strawberries are rich in fiber, which may have contributed to their popularity among various animals.
It helps with their digestive process, especially since some animals have digestive tract problems.
As herbivores, they enjoy nibbling and snacking on various fruits and nuts.
As for pets, they can eat a limited amount of strawberries.
Interestingly though, cats do not eat strawberries for their sweetness.
Besides their fiber content, it seems that the cats would prefer to play with the strawberries instead.
If you liked this type of post, here’s a recommendation of another popular read: What Animals Eat Flowers?
Strawberries are commonly eaten by a range of mammals, birds, and reptiles.
As a result, gardeners often grow them behind fences to keep them protected.
Examples of animals that might be stealing strawberries away from your garden include common birds, raccoons, squirrels, insects, deer, and rabbits.
Many of these animals steal strawberries away from humans, which might annoy people who own strawberry crops.
You’ll find many pests that are looking to eat strawberries before you get a chance to pick them!
What Eats Strawberries?
What Eats Strawberries?
These are some of the animals that like to eat strawberries.
Scientific NameSialia sialisType of AnimalBirdRangeeastern North America and south as far as Nicaragua
Birds are always looking for a way to access your garden and eat some of the produce that grows in it.
Whether it is fruits or vegetables, there’s always something inviting for birds to eat from your garden, so you’ll need to look for ways to protect your crops.
Strawberries are among the most popular foods among many birds.
Common birds like mockingbirds and house sparrows are highly likely to be looking for ways to pick strawberries from your garden.
If you have found strawberries with some dents, then it’s likely that some birds were in action.
To protect your strawberries from “bird attacks”, you might want to keep your berries guarded by using a fence around the strawberries.
This will keep the birds away from your crops.
Scientific NameProcyon lotorType of AnimalMammalRangeNorth America
Raccoons are highly opportunistic when it comes to food.
They’ll eat fruits, nuts, veggies, insects, rodents – practically anything that comes their way!
They might even pick up human garbage and find foods inside a trash bin, which is why it’s so common to see raccoons near human settlements.
They’re also very good at finding juicy fruits and eating them.
For example, they might go into your garden and steal some of the strawberries that grow there.
Or, they might find strawberries in a forest and eat them from there.
Related Article: Do Raccoon Eat Tomatoes?
Scientific NameSciuridaeType of AnimalMammalRangeAustralia and Antarctica
They like to eat smaller foods.
Their main food is nuts, but they also like vegetables and fruits quite a bit, so they’ll always look for ways to find strawberries, whether they get them from your garden or find them out in the wild.
If you find small dents in your strawberries – or even worse, find out that the fruits are completely missing, then it’s likely that a squirrel nearby has found your crops and might have eaten the berries.
Scientific NameLarvaType of AnimalInsectRangeWorldwideDietHerbivore
There will also be many different insects that will be looking at your strawberries to eat them.
Aphids, caterpillars, worms, bugs, and mites all love strawberries, so you can always expect to find them on your strawberries.
Of course, these are all small animals, so they will only eat your strawberries very slowly.
Scientific NameCervidaeType of AnimalMammalRangeall continents except Australia and Antarctica
Even deer cannot stay away from the sweet taste of strawberries.
However, if they find themselves near your home, they might also consider eating your strawberries.
If you don’t want large animals such as deer eating your crops, then it’s also best to protect your crops by building a fence or an equivalent.
This should be enough to keep deer at bay and protect your crops.
Scientific NameOryctolagus cuniculusType of AnimalMammalRangeWorldwide
Rabbits are also animals that like eating strawberries.
While they might be a bit too scared to enter your garden if you have strawberries, they won’t say no to wild strawberries that are widely available in the woods.
Again, you might want to protect your strawberries just in case you’re worried that rabbits are eating them.
Related Article: 19 Animals Like Rabbits
Scientific NameCricetinaeType of AnimalMammalRangeWorldwide
Hamsters are one of the most popular types of pet in the world.
They prefer eating grains as well as fruits and vegetables.
To keep their diet varied, some hamster owners will offer their hamsters strawberries.
And it’s not surprising that rabbits love the sweet taste of strawberries as they gnaw away at them.
Related Article: 25 Animals Like Hamsters
Scientific NameTestudinidaeType of AnimalReptileRangeon all continents except Australia and AntarcticaDietOmnivore
They might have a piece of vegetable or fruit in front of them, but it might take them several minutes or even hours to eat that piece of food.
With strawberries, the eating process will be shorter – not only because strawberries are small, but also because tortoises just enjoy the sweetness of this fruit.
Scientific NameCavia porcellusType of AnimalMammalRangeSouth AmericaDietHerbivore
Like hamsters, Guinea pigs are extremely popular pets around the world.
Primarily, these animals prefer eating vegetables and fruits as well as grains.
So many owners like to feed guinea pigs strawberries to keep their diets as varied as possible.
Scientific NameMarmotaType of AnimalMammalRangenorth of MexicoDietOmnivoreHibernation Length5 – 6 Months
The marmot is a small animal located in North America and Eurasia.
They are rodents that enjoy a variety of different foods – vegetables, roots, nuts, and fruits.
One of the types of fruits that these animals enjoy is strawberries.
Whether these animals are found in the wild or as pets, you’ll see that they enjoy a sweet meal like this.
Scientific NameGastropodaType of AnimalGastropodRangeWorldwideDietherbivorous, carnivorous, omnivorous, and detritivorous
Last but not least, we should also mention slugs as one of the most common eaters of strawberries.
Slugs might be one of the most annoying animals in the garden for many people.
While they might be good at eating insects in your garden, some slug species will also chew away from your fruits, so some people consider them to be pests!
Strawberries are a very common fruit in many people’s gardens, so many people are surprised that they are constantly being eaten by these animals on this list.
My mission is to write valuable and entertaining information about animals and pets for my audience.
There’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh strawberry grown on your own land.
These sun-loving plants make a great addition to the garden, but can attract some unwanted guests who also enjoy eating strawberries!
Some common animals that love eating strawberries include mice, deer, orioles, raccoons, voles, finches, snails and slugs, robins, squirrels, and rabbits.
Some animals will go for the fruit and foliage while other burrowing critters may attack the roots of the strawberry plant.
Let’s dive into the common animals that eat strawberry plants, what the damage looks like, and how you can repel these pesky critters and get back to enjoying your strawberries!
1. Mice Love Eating Strawberries
Mice are a common pest found around the home and garden.
These little rodents have adapted to live close to human civilization, so it’s no surprise that they creep into our gardens.
When it comes to eating your strawberry plants, mice aren’t picky about which part of the plant they eat.
They’ll target the fruit, stems, roots, and leaves of the strawberry plant.
You might be able to catch a mouse chewing on your strawberry plant during the day but they are more active at night when no one is watching.
Signs of mouse damage to your strawberries might look like this:
Small scrape marks on stems and fruit: We know mice are tiny, but their teeth are even tinier.
These are easiest to see on the stems and fruit of your strawberry plant.
Disturbed roots: If mice aren’t making a home out of your home, they’re likely living in an underground burrow.
These burrows can sometimes coincide with the roots of your strawberry plant.
Missing fruit: One strange thing that mice may do with your strawberries is bury them or cache them away for later use.
If you notice immature strawberries going missing, it’s probably a mouse or a squirrel.
Mouse damage can range from mild to severe.
The most danger comes from mice that target the roots of strawberry plants.
This can kill the plant from below or severely stunt its growth.
How To Stop Mice From Eating Your Strawberries
Mice are more likely to damage fruit trees than strawberry plants, but it’s still a concern if you’re noticing some of the signs listed above like chew marks or disturbed roots.
The best way to deter mice is to make your yard as unattractive as possible to a mouse in the hopes that it’ll move on to somewhere else.
As soon as you notice mouse damage (or better yet, before!), try one of the strategies below to deter them from your strawberry plants.
Mow the grass: Mice are prey to many animals.
Keeping the grass trimmed means that mice can’t hide in the grass from predators.
They’ll seek shelter somewhere else, hopefully far far away from your strawberry plants!
Trim bushes: In the same vein as mowing the grass, trimming your bushes so that the bottoms are open will eliminate mouse hiding places.
Use scent deterrents: scent deterrents can be used in specific areas such as near your strawberry plant.
Once mice get a whiff of something funky like cayenne pepper, vinegar, or black pepper, they’ll likely scurry away.
You can read more about the scents that mice hate here.
Eliminate food sources: We’re not saying to rip up your strawberry plants, but make sure you’re not accidentally providing mice with other means of food.
Remove outdoor pet food, clean up fallen fruit, and clean up any fallen bird seed.
2. Deer Will Devour Your Strawberry Plants
They munch on many different kinds of plants, including strawberries.
They can also do damage by trampling strawberry plants.
Early dawn and late dusk are the times when deer damage is likely to occur as this is when deer are most active.
However, deer that are habituated to people will eat strawberry plants in broad daylight.
If you haven’t caught these hoofed pests in the act, try looking for the below signs of deer damage to identify the correct culprit:
Torn leaves: Deer lack upper incisors which mean they do not make a clean cut when they browse leaves.
If the leaves of your strawberry plant are torn and jagged, it is most likely from deer browsing.
Missing fruit: Deer will eat strawberries in addition to the leaves.
Unlike mice, deer will more than likely eat the entire strawberry instead of just nibbling.
Trampled plants: while feasting on your strawberries and other garden plants, deer may trample some of the surrounding strawberry plants.
Look for flattened plants and hoof tracks.
Depending on your strawberry plants and when they bloom, deer damage to fruits may occur for just a few months such as June and July for June-bearing strawberries.
Or, in the case of day-neutral strawberries, deer damage can occur throughout the entire growing season.
How To Stop Deer From Chowing Down On Your Strawberry Plants
But when growing season hits and they start nibbling on your strawberries, it’s time to use some deterrent strategies.
Try a few different strategies to ensure those pesky deer stay away from your strawberry plants.
Motion-activated sprinklers: If you’ve ever seen a deer in the wild, then you know they are quite skittish.
A motion-activated sprinkler like the Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer comes with different settings that help you conserve water and spray only when deer are most active.
Fencing: Building a deer-proof fence is the most expensive option but it’s also the most effective.
According to the University of California, a 6-foot fence should be adequate to keep deer out.
Scent deterrents: Deer have an excellent sense of smell, and you can use that to your advantage!
Cayenne pepper is a scent that deer dislike and the capsaicin within will irritate a deer’s olfactory system.
You can read more about how to use cayenne pepper to repel deer here.
3. Birds Will Peck At Your Strawberry Plants
Birds can be beneficial to have around as they control the snail, slug, and insect populations.
However, for strawberry plants, birds can be more of a hindrance than a help.
Strawberries are susceptible to birds because they are not protected by any hard exterior flesh like apples or pears.
The birds most likely to damage strawberries include robins, cedar waxwings, and crows.
Orioles and finches are known to peck at strawberry plants as well.
To identify bird damage to your strawberries, look for these signs:
Peck marks in strawberries: The marks left by birds will be distinctive from other pests.
Missing seeds: Some species of bird like the goldfinch will eat only the seeds from the strawberry, leaving the majority of the fruit intact.
How To Stop Birds From Pecking At Your Strawberries
Birds will only target the fruit of the strawberry plant.
They may damage the leaves if they are hunting an insect or slug that happens to be sitting on the leaves.
Preventing birds from eating strawberries is more difficult than it seems.
Normal deterrents like fencing will not work with birds.
Reflective tape: string reflective ribbon or tape from your garden fence or stakes placed near vulnerable strawberry plants.
Goetor’s bird scare tape is double-sided to provide maximum effectiveness!
You can use owl- or hawk-shaped decoys to scare those pesky strawberry-eating birds away.
Dalen’s Fake Owl Scarecrow Decoy can be placed in the garden to scare away birds.
You can learn more about the proper way to use a fake owl or scarecrow here.
Provide natural cover: A study done in the Journal of Applied Ecology found that when farms provided birds with semi-natural land cover, strawberry-eating bird damage was reduced and so was the damage done by strawberry-eating insects.
Instead of cutting down the trees in your yard, consider leaving them up to encourage insectivorous birds that will take care of the insect population!
If they remain in the same place, birds will become habituated to its presence and will no longer be deterred.
4. Raccoons Will Sneak Into Your Garden For Strawberries
They prowl around at night, getting into our garbage, pet food, and bird feeders.
Raccoons will also sneak into your garden for a strawberry snack!
These masked bandits do most of their damage at night when they are active.
This makes it difficult to scare them off since we are sleeping when they are chowing down in our gardens.
To make sure it’s raccoons doing the damage and not some other pest, check for these signs of raccoon damage:
Missing fruit: Missing fruit is a sign of a few different animals such as deer and mice.
You’ll have to look for other signs in addition to missing fruit to determine if it is a raccoon.
Rolled-up turf: If you’ve recently laid down turf and see it rolled up in areas around your garden, a raccoon is likely the culprit.
This in addition to missing fruits would indicate a raccoon problem.
Other signs of raccoon damage: Identifying raccoon damage to your strawberries alone is difficult.
Instead, look for other signs of raccoons such as tipped-over garbage cans, spilled birdseed from birdfeeders, or missing outdoor pet food.
You may be able to identify raccoons by simply hearing them around the yard.
How To Deter Raccoons From Your Strawberry Plants
It can be difficult to deter raccoons from your strawberry plants specifically.
The best way to keep these masked bandits away from your strawberries is to make your yard as unattractive as possible to raccoons.
If they have to work too hard to get food from your yard, they’re likely to move on to somewhere else that has food more readily available.
Keep both of these things in mind as you work to keep raccoons away from your strawberry plants.
Eliminate food sources: While you can’t just destroy your whole garden because raccoons are nearby, you can eliminate some of their other food sources.
Clean up spilled bird seed from feeders or use a catcher tray (Songbird Essential’s Seed Hoop is an excellent choice!)
Scent deterrents: Peppermint, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, Epsom salts, predator urine, vinegar, and fragrant soaps can all help to deter raccoons.
Eliminate hiding places: Use strong galvanized mesh or wooden boards to seal up the spaces under your porch and shed.
These are places where raccoons will hide during the day.
The biggest thing to remember about raccoons is that they are opportunistic and they’re lazy.
If you make them work to get at your strawberries, they may find somewhere else to find food.
Keeping a clean yard, securing your garbage, and using scent deterrents will protect your strawberries and keep them on your plant instead of in a raccoon’s belly!
5. Voles Will Burrow Into Strawberry Roots
Voles are common pests that can be quite destructive for how small they are!
Voles will damage strawberries at any time of year because they are burrowing animals and will munch on roots when strawberries are dormant.
These pesky critters can be active both day and night but are quite timid and easily frightened.
Be on the lookout for these signs of vole damage:
Damage to crown: Voles will chew on the crown of strawberry plants, which can affect the leaves and flowers above.
Stunted growth: during the winter, voles will eat the roots of strawberry plants.
This can lead to stunted growth in the spring and a limited fruit yield.
Chew marks on fruit: Voles will feed directly on the fruit of strawberry plants.
Similar to mice, look for small chew marks on the fruits.
To know if you’re dealing with a mouse or a vole, check the yard for signs of vole runways.
These will look like tunnels from above and are often dotted with several emergency exit holes.
How To Stop Voles From Eating Your Strawberries
Voles may be small, but the damage they do can be large if populations are high enough.
It’s best to start deterring them at the first sign.
When the snow melts in the spring, check for vole runways to confirm if they are in your yard or not, and then start taking precautions to protect your strawberries and other garden plants.
These can all be places where voles hide from predators.
Use hardware cloth to create a barrier: ¼-inch or smaller hardware cloth is an effective barrier that voles will not be able to get through.
Set it in the ground around your strawberry plant to protect the roots from burrowing voles.
Frightening techniques: voles are very timid animals.
To stop them from eating strawberry fruit, try setting out pinwheels or streamers to scare them away.
Unfortunately, this will not protect strawberry roots.
6. Snails And Slugs Feed On Strawberry Plants
Snails and slugs are slimy pests that often invade our gardens and ornamental plants to chow down on leaves.
Damage from snails and slugs happens most often at night when these slow-moving pests are active.
They may come out during the day if it’s cloudy and rainy.
The most obvious sign of snails and slugs is the presence of silver slime trails on strawberry leaves.
This is a tell-tale sign that slugs and snails are to blame for any damage!
If snails and slugs are damaging your strawberry plant, it might look like:
Ragged holes in leaves: slugs and snails use rasping mouth parts to chew on leaves.
This leaves small, jagged holes in the leaves.
Rough holes in fruit: Like the leaves, the fruit of the strawberry plant will have rough holes in them that are a trademark of snail and slug feeding.
How To Stop Snails And Slugs From Chewing Your Strawberry Plants
It can be difficult to detect these slimy pests since they are most active at night.
However, as soon as you see the tell-tale slime trails, you can start taking action to deter them from your strawberries.
Avoid overhead sprinklers: Slugs and snails thrive in wet, humid environments.
Overhead sprinklers get the entire plant wet, which makes it easy for slugs and snails to climb up.
Set out traps: A cup-sized container buried in the soil so that the lip is flush with the ground works great at catching snails and slugs.
Eliminate slug and snail hiding places: try to make your yard unattractive to snails and slugs.
Remove unnecessary debris, pulled weeds, fallen leaves, and fallen fruit.
Stack boards and wood neatly and avoid leaving buckets or unused pots in the garden.
You can read more about snail and slug hiding places here.
7. Squirrels Love Eating Your Strawberry Plants
Several different species of squirrels will invade the yard and garden.
Squirrels are active during the day, but damage to strawberry plants is more likely to happen within the first half of the day, especially around mid-morning.
If you’ve seen these bushy-tailed critters hopping around your yard, check for signs of squirrel damage to your strawberry plants:
Burrows around roots: Ground squirrels that burrow near plant roots can be particularly destructive.
The act of burrowing will dry the roots out, possibly killing the plant or depriving it of vital water and nutrients.
Missing fruit: Among many other animals on our list, squirrels will eat the fruit of strawberry plants.
They prefer fruit trees such as apple, almond, avocado, and walnut, but they won’t pass up a juicy strawberry if they can get their paws on it!
Caches of buried strawberries: If you stumble upon a shallow hole with a bunch of strawberries buried in it, the likely culprit is squirrels.
They will cache food for the winter by burying it in the ground or stashing it in the holes of trees.
Squirrels can be extremely damaging to trees when they gnaw on the bark.
Luckily, strawberry plants are usually not targeted by squirrels and will not suffer as much damage as other plants.
That being said, burrowing squirrels can be a serious cause for concern.
Check out the tips below to keep squirrels away from your strawberry plants.
How To Keep Squirrels Away From Strawberry Plants
This is when squirrels are most active.
During the hot months of summer, squirrels are far less active.
Once strawberry plants begin growing, you can start deterring squirrels.
If you’ve had problems in the past or have seen the critters around the yard, you don’t have to wait for damage to happen before you start implementing deterrents.
Eliminate hiding places: Remove any brush piles or stacks of old wood.
The burrows must be ripped up and destroyed to truly prevent squirrels from reinhabiting them.
You can try using specific scents squirrels hate near their burrows to deter them!
Encourage predators: Squirrels are prey to many animals such as snakes, birds of prey, and coyotes.
Keeping dense vegetation in the yard can help predators catch squirrels unaware as they will not be able to see the predators as well.
Fencing: A 1-inch mesh fence that is 30 inches high will deter squirrels.
This will prevent ground squirrels from burrowing near the roots of the strawberry plant.
On a side note, keeping dense vegetation can attract other pests such as raccoons, voles, and rabbits.
8. Rabbits Love Eating Strawberry Plants
Rabbits may be cute to see hopping around the yard with their fluffy white tails, but these little beasts can be quite destructive in the garden.
Strawberries are considered one of a rabbit’s favorite fruits to eat.
They will be targeted specifically by rabbits as opposed to occasional browsing.
Be on the lookout for these signs of rabbit damage to your strawberry plants.
No fruit production: If the fruit-bearing time comes and goes with no fruit to show for it, rabbits may be to blame.
They will eat the blossoms of strawberry plants, preventing them from fruiting.
Clean-cut leaves: Unlike deer, rabbits will make clean cuts to the leaves they consume.
Look for a 45-degree angled cut on leaves, flowers, and stems.
Damaged sprinkler lines: rabbits have been known to chew on plastic lines such as irrigation lines and garden hoses.
This can be an additional sign that rabbits are present.
Damaged sprinkler lines may also be the result of squirrel chewing.
If your lines are damaged, check for some of the other tell-tale signs of rabbit damage to confirm if you are dealing with a rabbit or a squirrel.
How To Deter Rabbits From Strawberry Plants
Rabbits do not travel far from their burrows.
If they are damaging your strawberry plant, chances are they are living somewhere in your yard or very close by.
Fencing and making your yard as unattractive as possible to rabbits are two very effective methods of deterring Peter Cottontail from strawberry plants.
Fencing: A 1-inch mesh fence staked to 48 inches tall and buried 10 inches into the ground is adequate to deter rabbits.
Eliminate hiding places: Modify your yard so that the potential hiding places for rabbits are reduced or eliminated.
Remove brush piles and debris, trim lower branches of bushes and trees, and seal up the space under porches and sheds.
You can read more about ways to naturally get rid of rabbits here.
It’s enough to make anyone frustrated when critters come around and destroy all the hard work you’ve put into raising strawberry plants.
There are a few animals that are particularly interested in your strawberry plant and are the most likely to cause damage:
Snails and slugs
For the most part, modifying your yard, eliminating hiding places, using scare tactics, and using scent deterrents will be enough to keep these nuisance critters away from your strawberry plants.
If you’ve tried everything you can think of to protect your strawberry plants and can’t seem to combat these voracious strawberry-eating animals, consider reaching out to a professional through our nationwide pest control finder.
The Strawberry Plant Defense Mechanism: A Molecular Review.
Plant & Cell Physiology, 52(11), 1873-1903.
Bird services and disservices to strawberry farming in Californian agricultural landscapes.
Managing Human-Wildlife Interactions: Raccoons (Procyon lotor).
Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden.
Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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