assassin,and stink bugs are attacking my best crop of tomatoes I had in years.need help!I have never found anything to control them.thanks in advance.Cactus Pat.
Stink bugs will damage your tomatoes -- they are plant feeders. Assassin bugs will not -- they are predators of pests you don't want in your garden. So you need to learn to recognize the difference and protect the assassin bugs!
The only way I've been able to cut down on the number of stink bugs is by knocking them off plants into a cup of soapy water. I hate those suckers!
Vacuum the stink bug and squash them..
On my daily checks I simply flick the stink and leaf footed bugs real hard with my finger and then if I can find them I squash them. Assassin bugs are cool, I see them eating other bugs such as sucumber beetles and stink bugs.
With the 4 Ft of rain from Feb to July last year, stink and leaf-foots were a holy terror. (Central TX) Between soaping them and squashing them, I think we only made them stronger.
I've not found anything either to control stinkbugs. I live in South Central Texas and basically put on a pair of gloves and go at it. But one think to help reduce the damage is to slip a small paper back over the fruit and secure with a paperclip. I keep a couple of sizes and use some large sized to cover a cluster of fruit. Using the bags does make it labor intensive to check for ripe fruit but considering the damage caused by stinkbugs, I think it's worth it. The bags also protect from sunscald.
Jay, I'm having trouble visualizing the paper back that you are using. Do you have picture? Even if I could just cover some of the fruit it would be worth it.
You must not have read the entire post. It was a typo -- he meant a paper BAG: Using the bags does make it labor intensive to check for ripe fruit but considering the damage caused by stinkbugs, I think it's worth it. The bags also protect from sunscald.
brazosvalleygardener;thanks for the tip,I will try on some of my prized heirlooms,but I grow on a scale such as yourself and it would be too much labor,and too many bags.I would like for you to see my Toms.,but i do not have a digital camera yet. I got them in two weeks before you,and the wind was relentless,but now they are loaded with tomatoes.thanks again cactus pat.
Those leaf footed bugs get smart when they realize you are squishing them. They start dropping from the plants and hidingwhen they see you coming... Sneaky little beast. I especially enjoy finding a clutch of juviniles(little red ones) and eradicating that generation. It's easier than when they start to fly. Which is the issue. You can do all the controlling you want on your property and these winged Tomato suckers fly in from elsewhere.
Stink bugs LOVE sunflowers (apparently so do aphids), so if you can plant a bunch of them away from your garden area but close enough (20-30 feet) that a stink bug can find them, you might be able to lure them away from your tomatoes. If there's something else around they like better, they won't bother your toms nearly as much.
Okra, field peas and sunflowers, as well as millet and sorghum seem to be plants that attract them if you want to go that route.
Here is a link that might be useful: Management of stink bugs
When I make a typo, I make a big one don't I? (LOL) But yes, should have been "small paper bag".
Is it the sunflower bloom they go to or the foliage?
I'm reading up, but not finding much, what kind of damage to the stink bugs do to tomatoes? I think I found a brown one yesterday... how do I recognize damage?
rats!!! I read up on tomato damage from stink bugs and yes I have them, and I found a damaged tomato!
rats and double rats!!!!!!!
Welcome to the Stinkbug Haters Club of America. We hate stinkbugs. (though to confuse the issue there are some beneficial stinkbugs--drats!) They have asked that we learn the difference but it's hard when you see a sneaky, stinky, stinkbug sucking on your tomatoes.
Having been the victim of assassin bugs 3 times, I am definitely not a fan and kill on sight. They enter your house, bite and suck your blood while you sleep. You awake with very itchy bites that become sore and infected, swelling to 3" diameter. Look under pillow, mattress, box springs near head and food of bed, in between and under pillows of sofa, under bed sofa. Bites occur in between fingers and toes, on thighs. In Mexico and S. America they carry Chaga's disease - a handful of cases occur in U.S. annually - read about it.