Stink Bugs on Tomatoes

Daniel Gill  |  6/20/2015 4:37:31 AM

First off let me sincerely thank you for all your past advice. I think I'm getting stink bug damage on my long awaited tomatoes! Help! What is the best treatment for them? I also see large numbers of leaf hoppers.

Thanks, Ellis B.

First, to put things into perspective, stink bugs are among the less destructive pests of tomatoes. Other problems that actually destroy or ruin the crop are far more serious, such as bacterial wilt (that will take the whole crop), tomato fruitworms, tomato hornworm, fruit rot, buckeye rot and blossom end rot.

Fruit fed on by stink bugs are still good to eat. But, the heavy feeding of stink bugs (and leaf-footed bugs) can lower the quality of the fruit. Stink bugs are among the more difficult of the insect pests to control. But, regular applications of the insecticide permethrin (Bonide Eight and other brands) about once a week following label directions should help reduce the damage. Leaf hoppers cause little or no damage to tomato plants or fruit, but may carry diseases. The permethrin will also control them.

Dan Gill
Consumer Horticulture Specialist

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