Grow Your Tomatoes
• Grow From Seed
• Store-Bought Plants
• Container Growing
• In the Garden
• Tomato Pests
• Tomato Diseases
• Heirloom or Hybrid
• Popular Varieties
• Companion Planting
• Grow Lights
• Saving Your Seeds
Tomato pestsThere are a few insect pests that are commonly found on tomatoes. Getting them under control can range from spraying hose water to picking them off with your hands.
This caterpillar is a very common tomato pest. They grow up to 4 inches long and have a dark reddish horn on the rear end. They can easily defoliate new growth, and sometimes will even eat unripe fruit.
The tobacco hornworm is often mistakenly referred to as the tomato hornworm. However, the tomato hornworm is a closely related species but is not the same (see below). Click on the above image for more details on the tobacco hornworm.
Tomato HornwormLess common on tomatoes than the tobacco hornworm, despite the name. To tell the two species apart, look at the markings. The tobacco hornworm has seven diagonal white lines on either side. The tomato hornworm has eight sideways-v-shaped white markings along its sides. The eighth marking at the rear is about half the size of the other 7. More info
Aphids come in several different colors, depending on species. They suck nutrients from the leaves, and can possibly transmit viruses to your tomato plants. Luckily, I haven't lost any plants to viruses yet, even though the aphids covered them by the hundreds.
To keep aphids under control, you can spray with a solution of liquid dish soap and water, or you could knock the aphids off with a fairly strong jet of water from the hose. (Be careful not to break the stems with the water jet.)
Aphids generally feed on the new growth and on the underside of the leaves. If you are spraying a repellent (whether organic or chemical) you should be sure to spray under the leaves to make contact with the majority of the aphids.
There are other remedies for aphids such as neem oil, garlic, and ladybugs. If you can get some adult ladybugs, put as many on your tomato plants as possible. Eventually they will reproduce, and you will start to see ladybug larvae, which are the ravenous eaters of aphids.
Stink BugsStink bugs may be brown, green, or pale depending on species. It seems that the brown type are most common on tomatoes. All stink bugs are shield-shaped insects belonging to the "true bug" family.
These insects cause damage to fruit by piercing the skin much like a mosquito would do to an animal. They "drink" from the tomato and at the same time, they cause damage to the area where they pierced the fruit. The damage is known as cloudy spot and somewhat ruins the appearance of the tomatoes. I personally don't mind eating fruit damaged by stink bugs, but they do look ugly and not as appetizing.
Other pestsHere are some other pests commonly found on tomatoes. Common tomato pests on GardenWeb
© Copyright 2009
No reproduction of any part of this Web site without permission from the Webmaster.