If you have a tomato garden then it is imperative for you to know about the different pests that might affect the plant. This article would help you have a healthy and pest-free harvest.
A labored time spent on growing tomato plants can go in vain, with a single infestation of pests, which are not just of one type. These pests are nasty enough to kill a plant almost overnight. Some may only damage the foliage, while some may destroy the whole crop. However, with some smart and early measures, the infestation and the crop loss can be prevented.
Tomato Plant Diseases and Pests
|Tomato Pests||Identification||Pest Control|
|Vegetable Leafminer||The first in the list is what you call ‘vegetable leafminer’. Did you ever get to notice bright yellow maggots on your tomato plants? These pests cause the foliage to take on a brown-burnt appearance. One classic sign of your plants getting attacked is the formation of wavy and twisted, punctured areas on the leaves.||Removing the affected leaves is known to be a good remedy for dealing with the problem. If the plant is attacked every year, then spraying it with an insecticide early in the spring would help in preventing the invasion of these bugs.|
|Aphids||Aphids are among the common bugs that jeopardize tomato plantation. They target young tomato plants. Looking similar to lice, they are also known as plant lice. They have a soft-make and are of the shape of a pear and feed on the plant sap which causes the leaves to turn yellow.||At the first sighting of the pests, the plant must be treated with organic spray. Applying contact insecticides also helps in controlling the population. One natural way to get rid of aphids is to introduce insects like lady bugs or preying mantis in the garden. These insects usually feed on them.|
|Stink Bug||They bite on the fruits and inject toxins. These result in the death of the fruit cells, causing massive destruction. The symptoms include yellow spots on the fruit, with white and hard flesh.||Using an insecticidal spray is enough to bring down the population of stink bugs.|
|Spider Mites||No matter where you grow your tomatoes, spider mites spare neither the container-grown varieties, nor the ones grown in the garden. Leaves first turn yellow, then bronze, and eventually wither off and die. Also, there would be small, fine spider webs formed on the plant. These creatures may appear in shades of red, brown, or black.||The pests live in hot and dry environment. So mist the plants twice a day. This would make the conditions too harsh for the bugs to survive. Otherwise, you can put contact insecticides to bring them under control.|
|Cutworms||Cutworms like to attack young plants. And not only are tomatoes their delicacy, but also other plants grown in the garden. So, if their invasion is left unchecked, then you are putting the harvest of the entire garden at stake. The seedling and young transplants would appear chewed off at the base of the plant. These are nothing but tiny caterpillars which eat their way through the plants, and are easily identifiable. They are nocturnal plant feeders.||Secure the base with 3 – 4 inch cover of aluminum collar. As these pests remain at ground level, the cover would prevent them from damaging the crops.|
|Greenhouse Whitefly||Another class of sap suckers, like the aphids, are the greenhouse whiteflies. They cause wilting of the plant along with deformed and discolored tomatoes.||Best is to make use of appropriate insecticides as soon as the symptoms are noticed.|
These were some of the most common bugs affecting a tomato plant. The best defense against a massive devastation by these pesky pests is prompt treatment measures.