Sustainable Seed Company Blog

TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 6 OF 6: Slugs & Snails

TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 6 OF 6: Slugs & Snails

Learn to identify and have a plan of attack!

Slugs or Snails  (Rumina decollata & Helix aspersa) Identification: Slugs are best described as snails without shells with soft-bodied that are generally brownish or grayish. They vary in size from 1/4 inch to two inches or longer. While snails may look the same they can be the same size or smaller they will have a shell on their backs. Slugs and snails leave a silvery slime trail as they move. Feeding damage can be superficial to extensive that may result in plant stress or...
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TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 5 OF 6: Tomato Hornworms

TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 5 OF 6: Tomato Hornworms
Tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) Identification: They can measure up to 4 inches in length. Small tomato hornworms are yellow to white in color with no markings where large hornworms develop white, "V-shaped" marks on each side. They also have a black "horns" on their last abdominal segment. Tomato hornworm caterpillars feed initially on the upper portions of the plants destroying several leaves as well as the fruit.  Plan of Attack:  Plants should be examined at least 2x per week during the summer. Keep your garden...
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TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 4 OF 6: STINK BUGS

TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 4 OF 6: STINK BUGS
Stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) Identification: Stink bugs have broad bodies that are either in triangular or semi-elliptical shape. They have an antenna which is divided into five segments. You can see their damage in the yellow, uneven spots that appear on the ripening tomatoes. When you slice into a yellow-spotted tomato with white sections below the spots are distinguishes stink bug damage from fungal or viral problems. Plan of Attack:  Keep garden areas cleaned up, especially through the winter, to...
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TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 3 OF 6: Spider Mites

Spider Mite (Acari) A heavy spider mite infestation caused the curling, distortion, yellow patches on the leaves of this tomato plant.

Spider Mite (Acari)  Identification: A heavy spider mite infestation caused the curling, distortion, yellow patches on the leaves of this tomato plant. Adults are reddish brown or pale in color, oval-shaped and very small less than 1/60th inch in size. Spider mites live in colonies, mostly on the underside of leaves, and feed by on leaf tissue. Feeding marks show up as light dots on the leaves and as they continue, the leaves turn yellow, dry up and drop off. Plan of...
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TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 2 OF 6: Colorado Potato Beetle

Colorado Potato Beetle: Identify & Plan of Attack
Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata)     Identification: Adult Colorado potato beetles are oval in shape and 3/8 inch long. They have a yellow-orange area behind the head and orange-yellow wing covers with black stripes. Plan of Attack:  Natural enemies are of the Colorado Potato Beetle are the green lacewings, several predatory stink bugs, tachinid fly, and the spined soldier bug. Crop rotation prevents overwintering beetles emerging directly in the fields. The further a field is located from the previous year's tomato field, the longer an...
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Top Tomato Pests - Part 1 of 6: Aphids

Tomatoes have many pests that it would be hard to list them all. I will go over the main pests that a majority of people will see and how to combat them. Aphids (Myzus persicae & Macrosiphum euphorbiae)

Tomatoes have many pests that it would be hard to list them all. I will go over the main pests that a majority of people will see and how to combat them.  Aphids (Myzus persicae & Macrosiphum euphorbiae):  Identification: Aphids have tiny soft pear-shaped bodies with long legs and antennae. For tomato plants, the aphids can be green, or red. With a pair of tubelike structures called cornicles projecting backward out of the hind end of their body makes identifying them easy. Aphids often feed...
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