Something has been eating my tomatoes just as they begin to ripen. Each day I've been finding one or more tomatoes half-eaten but still attached to the vine. On a couple of days I've also found bits of tomato skin scattered around a wooden chair a few feet away from the tomato plants.
I haven't seen the critter(s) in the act. I'm guessing it's a squirrel, as we have lots of them in the neighborhood, but it could be some other small mammal.
I've grown tomatoes in the Sacramento region for years and this is the first time I've had this problem. Does anyone have any ideas on whether it's likely to be a squirrel or some other animal? More importantly, is there anything I can do to keep the critters away?
Update: I've selected a "best" answer, but please feel free to add your suggestions if you have a better idea. I'd love to find a way to deter the tomato-eating critters without going to the trouble of enclosing my tomato garden in a net.