Controlling Tomato Pests

pstockApril 5, 2006

I need advice on controlling tomato pests. Last year we had a real stink bug problem, and, tomato worms are always a problem. .(Where do they come from?) Also had something eating holes in the leaves. What can I spray or dust with and how long should I wait before eating picked tomatoes? Thanks

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sevin dust works good, how long you should wait is labeled on the packaging.if going organic, which i did last year, i used athree in one, which worked okay until it dried up.i know sevin's dust works all the time until it is washed off.they make a sevin dust especially for vegetables i think.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 9:40PM
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feldon30(N Houston (8))

I hate the idea of white dust sitting on my plant leaves all the time. I washed it off after 3 days of looking at what looked like ghost plants to me. Sevin dust makes use of Carbaryl, which is the least toxic chemical (vs. plant derived) insecticide around. There are spray and concentrate versions of it and I think it would be a lot easier to hit the bottoms of the leaves with a sprayer.

Tomato worms can be defeated with BT dust.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 4:24PM
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tomatoman(9B E Cen Fl)

Tomato worms can be defeated with BT dust.

BT works only if the tomato worms are small. Once they get large, BT is not effective. Hand picking is the preferred nonchemical control, unless you have acres of fruit. Neem oil seems to have a deterrence, possibly because of the smell.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 10:25AM
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How long should we wait to eat tomatoes dusted with sevin dust?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 12:34PM
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Look at the label on the Sevin package -- it will tell you. It varies by crop (don't ask me why) :)

Be careful when using Sevin. It's very toxic to bees and other beneficial insects.

Hornworms come from the sphinx (or hawk) moth. They're large moths that some people mistake for hummingbirds. The moths are kinda cool but boy can those worms do a lot of damage!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 4:19PM
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As noted Sevin dust is extremely toxic to bees. They can get the dust on their hairs and carry it back to the nest where is kills the whole nest. Dusts and emulsifiable powders are more toxic then other formulations. I personally would NEVER use Sevin dust but that is my choice, yours may be different.
Sevin kills beneficials and then you can experience a worse problem with other pests. (ie spider mites and aphids) It only 'suppresses' stinkbugs so control is limited with this chemical.

I can usually catch by hand (using a plastic baggie) big groups of SB nymphs as they congregate together.

I think I will try an insect vacuum during the next season.

I have also hit them directly with a pyrethrin based spray (as opposed to spraying everything whether I see them or not) but read it only stuns them so once again I would make an effort to retrieve them.

Univ. Of Calif. recommends as a natural control kaolin clay (surround)

(Surround) 30-50 lb 4 0
MODE OF ACTION: Unknown. An inorganic insecticide that protects fruit surface from feeding.
COMMNTS: Kaolin clay does not appear to kill stink bugs directly but is quite effective in protecting the fruit surface from feeding. Begin applications when stink bugs are present and fruit are mature green to pink. Apply to protect the surface of the fruit; canopy penetration is essential. A repeat application may be needed if fruit reaching the susceptible stage are not coated. Kaolin clay application results in a thick, white deposit that coats the foliage and fruit and must be washed from the fruit, limiting its potential for use. "

I already have Surround so I will also try that but I am very bad at anything that needs to be sprayed repeatedly.
I would imagine such a thick coating may also discourage birds and other pests.

Here is a link that might be useful: Excellent stinkbug pics/plus monitoring trap

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 1:29PM
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I have had a lot of luck this year with companion planting. I surrounded my tomatoes and cukes with nasturtiums, basil, oregano, and cilantro. I also planted some hot salsa peppers and bell peppers near them. For some reason, this seems to deter most pests (and I am OVERRUN with Japanese beetles this year...they attack some nasty old sucker-trees and leave my veggies alone...yippee!) I have always preferred hand-picking the larger pests...I've also made some teas from onion, garlic, and hot peppers in the past. Smelled bloody awful! There are commercially available organic sprays out there...I've never tried them, but maybe they'll help. I've heard that "inorganic" gardening can stress plants and create imbalances in the local ecosystem, which makes plants more susceptible to pests. Food for thought, anyway.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 3:55PM
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