What's Making Holes in Your Tomatoes?

Hand holding a green tomato with a hole in it on the vine

Nenad Stojkovic / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

There’s nothing more infuriating than waiting for a tomato to ripen so you can pluck it from the vine only to find holes in your fruit. You can almost forgive the garden pest that eats an entire tomato, but those that poke--or burrow--a hole and move onto the next tomato can leave you feeling murderous.

Prime Suspects in Tomato Damage

Generally speaking, attracting birds into the garden is a good thing. They help keep the populations of many insects that damage your plants in check. During hot days a juicy tomato is nearly irresistible to thirsty birds without easy access to a water supply. Tomato fruitworms--not to be confused with tomato hornworms-- are another source of unsightly damage to your tomato fruits.

Protecting Your Tomatoes

Aside from covering your tomato plants with netting, there isn’t much you can do to keep birds away from them. But you can give them the water supply they’re craving by making a simple birdbath from items around you can upcycle . It’s not a guaranteed solution, but it should stem some of the bird damage to your crop.

Controlling tomato fruitworms will take a lot more work, and some research into integrated pest management practices you can practice in your garden.

Browse all of our tomato content for mouth-watering tomato recipes, savvy tomato growing tips, and up-to-the minute tomato breakthroughs.