Return to the Growing Tomatoes Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Build insect net "house"??

Posted by rosefool z8a TX (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 12:07

Hi all,

I am in central Texas, with essentially two short growing seasons for tomatoes. Last year I tried Earthboxes and finally got decent fruit set, then leaf-footed bugs arrived and destroyed my tomatoes almost before I knew what was happening. I've read a lot, which has me very discouraged about using organic OR non-organic methods to prevent/control these nasty bugs.

I am thinking about trying to build a kind of insect net house that is freestanding and can be placed over my tomatoes (growing in Smart Pots). I need opinions and advice, please, about how to do this, and if you think it will work. I also probably need to do one for my squash.

I've attached a photo of something from Gardeners Supply, which is where I got the idea.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Build insect net "house"??

You can make your own inexpensively. Build a 1/2" pvc frame and throw some nylon netting on it. pvc costs about a buck for 8ft length (plus some fittings) and nylon netting is sold at fabric stores for couple Dollars a yard. They come in various colors and mesh sizes. Yse RED, it might even be better for your tomatoes. How 'bout that!


 o
RE: Build insect net "house"??

Why not check over on the Greenhouses & Garden Structures forum for ideas. There have been several posts there about building hoop houses and domes out of netting/screening. Of course they keep out pollinators too but you can always hand pollinate.

But which of the many members of the leaf-footed bugs family caused you so much problem? There are controls available for each specific species but they are specific to the individual species and still have to be used with some care since so many of the family are beneficials.

Dave


 o
RE: Build insect net "house"??

Hi Dave,

Here's a photo of the nasty bug that destroyed my tomatoes. It is

Common Name: Leaffooted bug
Scientific Name: Leptoglossus phyllopus (Linnaeus)
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Coreidae

From what I've read they are hard to control with insecticides, and I'm pretty much organic, anyway. People talk about hand picking them, but I tried that and found it difficult and of seemingly limited value. This particular bug seemed to be fond of flying into my face, which I found disconcerting. Any ideas you have I would welcome, and thanks for the tip about the other forum-- I didn't know about that.


 o
RE: Build insect net "house"??

hi rosefool - there are some 200 different specices of leaf-foots and the one in your photo is a young Eastern Leaf-foot (which is supposedly rarely seen west of the Mississippi or in the deep south except in unusually dry years.

If that is true then you may not have the same problem this year. Then again, you might.

Controls (organic) for that specific sub-species are frequent egg patrols to remove them before hatching and the eggs are quite distinctive in appearance (see link below), tachnid wasps (you can order those) and a dust application named Surround (TM) that blocks their ability to feed and irritates their bodies.

Hope this helps.

Dave

PS: Here are a bunch of pics of various garden netting structures for some ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eastern leaf-foot bug


 o
RE: Build insect net "house"??

Dave,

Thank you, you have been extremely helpful! I may give the organic methods you describe a try, including the wasps and the Surround dust--that's the powdered kaolin clay, right?

Thanks again.

Karen


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Growing Tomatoes Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here