Plant Bugs Terrorize Tomatoes

Plant bug nymphs are always ready to eat, especially vegetables.

Plant bug adult

Neither heat, nor drought, or seldom pesticides will keep the leaf footed plant bug off your tomatoes and other vegetables. This insect sucks juices from your fruit or vegetable leaving light colored marks on your fruit caused by cell distortion. Both nymphs and adults cause damage.

Most, if not all, have experienced the foul odor when squeezing or coming into contact with one of these pests, including its cousin the stink bug!

There are several control measures available to the farmer or gardener. Preventive measures include: weed management, planting trap crops, and introducing beneficial insects like parasitic wasps which attack eggs and tachinid flies that parasitizes nymphs and adults.

First, scouting your field or garden will determine damage potential. More than one bug per six plants warrants control. Spraying pesticides containing bifenthrin or applying insecticidal soaps can help. Always read the label before applying these, and all, products. Submitted by Mike Goodchild, Walton County Extension Director

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