Bed bugs are a common tomato pest.
Tomato pests are insects or worms that eat various parts of the tomato plant. They attack tomatoes from the moment they start to grow from the ground. These vicious insects damage various parts of the tomato plant. Some tomato pests attack the plant’s leaves or buds, while others damage the plant’s roots. Still others can suck the sap from the tomatoes.
Several pests can damage tomato plants.
Bed bugs, tomato caterpillar, tomato fruit caterpillar, blister beetle, aphids and pinworms are some of the most common tomato pests. Gardeners must be on the lookout for signs of these pests in order to save their tomatoes from destruction. Using simple plant care and prevention methods can help prevent destructive tomato pests from decimating tomatoes.
Bed bugs are brown or green insects that usually do little damage to tomato plants. They tunnel through the tomatoes and buds, causing the leaves to fall off and the tomatoes to grow misshapen. Tomato caterpillars are long caterpillars that feed on tomatoes and hide under the branches of the tomato plant.
The tomato caterpillar can be brown, pink or green. It has light colored stripes on the back and sides. It makes its way inside the tomato, moving from one tomato to another until it’s time to become a pupa.
Inchworms and other insect larvae can damage tomato plants.
Blister beetles are long, thin, black beetles with black or yellow stripes. This type of insect feeds on tomato leaves. In contrast, bubble beetle larvae eat locust eggs. Consequently, this stage of the bubble beetle can help protect tomato plants.
Aphids are insects that may or may not have wings. They gather under the tomato’s leaves or stems so they can suck out its sap. Two types of aphids can be found on tomato plants – the potato aphid and the green peach aphid. Potato aphids can be pink or green. Sometimes it can be a combination of the two colors. Green peach aphids can be either yellow or green.
Oil derived from a neem tree can be an effective insecticide.
Pinworms are caterpillars that burrow into a tomato in the area located near the stem. Some worms can even pierce the tomato leaves. As this type of pest burrows under the stem, it is extremely difficult to detect its presence until damage has already been done to the plant.
To combat tomato pests, gardeners need to take immediate steps to eliminate them. This can be done by crushing the pest or removing it from the plant by spraying it with water. All-purpose insecticides should never be applied to a tomato garden, as this can kill spiders and other useful insects that eat tomato pests. Instead, choose horticultural oil, neem oil, or insecticidal soap. All three products can be purchased at your local garden store.