Stinkbugs :(

sienna_98July 7, 2014

Stinkbugs have found my tomato plants this year. I've been hosing them off in the evenings, but the numbers are increasing rather than decreasing. Ugh. Any suggestions for saving the garden? Thanks in advance.

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melonhedd

Good news is that the stinkbugs were a little late arriving in our area this year. My tomatoes are pretty much done for the season, so the bugs are having trouble finding any fruit. As far as saving the rest of your tomatoes I can only suggest picking them off by hand or using a portable vacuum a couple times every day, unless you want to use some nasty pesticides. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 2:04PM
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sienna_98

Thanks. Due to my work schedule, I only have time in the evenings to work on them. Unfortunately, my plants are still loaded with fruit, so I'm not willing to let the buggers have 'em! LOL. Wish the lizards in the garden were more successful. Oddly enough, they're leaving the cherry tomatoes alone, but they are really loving my black krim, which only just started ripening, argh.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 2:45PM
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cygnwulf(7b DFW)

I've found the shop vac to be amazingly successful on squash bugs even just one time a day for about a week. Should be just as effective on stink bugs on your maters.

As for the cherry tomatoes, I think that is probably because cherry tomatoes really are super-powered tomatoes. Just look at how big the plants get.....

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 5:00PM
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sienna_98

Thanks. I'll dig up the extension cord and give it a shot. Glad I have a privacy fence, or the neighbors would think I've gone off the deep bend vacuuming my tomato plants, lol.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 5:30PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

I recall seeing a marvelous YouTube post by some accomplished gardener where he totally rid himself of stinkbugs in this novel way. You bring a shop vac outside, and set it up to blow, rather than suck. Then mist your tomatoes. Grab a handful of diatomaceous earth and BLOW it onto the wet tomatoes. Just blow over your hand, making a cloud of DE. It'll stick. Goodbye stinkbugs. The advantage is that this really only needs to be done every few weeks (unless it rains hard, I guess), is inexpensive, and doesn't involve any nasty insecticides.

I suppose you needs to rinse off your tomatoes before eating, but ...

I've been looking forward to trying this, but I haven't yet had any problems with them this year.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:08AM
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sienna_98

Do you know if it would affect the little lizards that live in my garden? I'm somewhat familiar w/ D.E., but have never used it myself. I do like the idea of something I only have to do in between rains and it's no problem to rinse the tomatoes first. :)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:27PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

I think DE is actually used to de-mite pet lizards. See also ...

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/diatomaceous-earth-kill-geckos-84148.html

I would have no hesitation using it around lizards except, of course, it kills what they like to eat.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 3:06PM
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sienna_98

They'll just have to hunt their prey a little further (or continue to snack on fallen tomatoes!)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:50PM
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beachplant(9b)

they have been bad in our community garden for about a month now, all the farmers at the Farmers market have been fighting with them. I hate those things!
Tally Ho!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:53AM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

OK, I found some good videos. This guy does it with a leaf blower. But if you have power nearby, a shop vac will do nicely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkrK8LvQPa8

Here's another. This guy makes a duster bottle, but what he neglects to show is that you should mist the plants first before blowing the dust.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bykxmQIBJ0

Another way to do it is to mix some of the dust in water, and put it in a spray bottle, but I'm guessing that's a great way to clog up your spray bottle.

These are super cheap (a buck or two a pound), highly organic, and, I understand, very effective ways to get rid of stink bugs (leaf-footed bugs). I have not done this yet, but it looks so easy, I'm running out to get a bag this weekend.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:02PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

OK, I did it. Took me fifteen minutes to string the extension cord, pull out my shop vac, mist and blow a cloud of DE on my tomatoes. One thing I had not appreciated is that a handful of DE isn't that big. It doesn't clump, so when you grab a handful, a lot of it slides through your fingers. It has the consistency of talcum powder, NOT flour.

Even one small handful makes a pretty impressive white cloud. A lot of which, I'd like to believe, sticks to the plants. My tomatoes are certainly now slightly white. Solid white spots where there were drops of water. One, 4# bag of DE is probably good for 20 or so "treatments" for a few yards of tomatoes, I'm guessing.

Now, I haven't seen any leaf-footed (Stink) bugs yet this season, though they were pretty bad last year. We'll see if this keeps them away. My cherries are just starting to ripen, so this is when they'll ordinarily attack.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:28PM
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sienna_98

Dan, please keep us updated. I'd love to know how successful you are with this technique.

Thanks. :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:28AM
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1234carlos

Are there any differences between the DE used to kill algae in the swimming pools and the one sold as "insect dust"?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:05AM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

YES! I'm told that swimming pool grade DE is chemically processed in a way that makes it not work as well as an insecticide. You must get what is called "food grade" DE. All the gardening DE is that variety. I don't think it has anything to do with edibility, but the way it is chemically processed.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:35AM
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