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[Tomato Dirt] Be on the Lookout For These 3 Tomato Pests on Fruit
August 21, 2014

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 4, Number 15

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

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Feature: Be On the Lookout for These 3 Tomato Pests on Fruit

Image: David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth

Nothing can be more frustrating than to lovingly nurture your tomato plants from seedlings to the point where you are nearly ready to pick luscious fruit from their vines … only to discover that an annoying pest has gotten to your precious tomatoes first.

Three of the most common tomato pests that feast on your fruit – stink bugs, tomato fruit worm, and slugs – leave similar telltale evidence: holes. Stink bugs and tomato fruit worm also leave dark pinpricks or light or discolored patches on the fruit.

In all three cases, you can use any of the following methods to treat tomatoes to rid them of these pests.

  • Spray with water. Use a hose to spray plants with a strong jet water stream. Insects will dislodge and move on. Spray plants several days in a row to eradicate as many generations of fast-multiplying insects as possible.
  • Apply insecticidal soap. Potassium salts in insecticidal soap’s fatty acids remove an insect’s protective waxes and cause disruption of insect cell membranes. They are effective when applied directly to the insect on the plant.
  • Apply horticultural oils. Oil-based sprays block an insect’s air holes, interfere with an insect’s metabolism, disrupt feeding, or inhibit insect growth.
  • Apply insecticides. If pests continue to attack plants after you’ve tried other treatment methods, you may need to resort to insecticides like Sevin (available in granules , concentrate , or ready to use ) or Eight (Permethrin). Keep in mind that by doing so, you may kill helpful insects.

Find out more about tomato pests so you can keep your plants and fruit healthy and productive for the rest of the season.

And check out insight about tomato pests and tomato diseases on our Tomato Problems Pinterest board.

A Special Resource for Managing Stink Bugs

Image: Stink Bug Control

Read one man's story of his stink bug infestation and a foolproof solution in Stink Bug Control Secrets Revealed.

Bill Campbell explains how he got rid of stink bugs permanently – using a natural, non-toxic method. You can get his tips to get rid of them, too.

Find out more about Bill Campbell’s solution . And read more about stink bugs here.

Check Out These Helps for Controlling Tomato Pests

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Stink Bug Trap Slug X Trap Bonide Horticultural Oil

More on Keeping Tomato Plants Healthy

Tomato Fruitworms: How to Identify and Control Them Tomato Hornworms: How to Identify and Control Them Tomato Pests That Attack Tomatoes in Containers Identify and Control Indoor Tomato Pests

That’s it for now. More next time!

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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