Tomato plant pests can easily be treated to prevent valuable crop loss and damage to the plants foliage. A large number of insects can plague the tomato plant. Early control offers the plant the best chance of survival.
1) Vegetable Leafminer
The vegetable leaf miner appears on tomato’s as a bright yellow maggot. Adult leafminers appear as a black fly with yellow markings. They lay their eggs on the tomato plants foliage. The emerging maggot feeds on the foliage of the tomato plant by producing large yellow mines on the leaf’s interior and margins. Infected foliage turns brown and often takes on a burnt appearance. Soon the larva drop to the soil to pupate and emerge as adults so the cycle begins all over again. A new generation emerges ever 23 days if control is not gained. Remove all infected leaves and spray with an insecticide for leafminers.
Aphid colonies often take up residence on the young, new growth of the tomato plant. Aphids can be controlled by applying insecticides but they are also controllable by simply hosing the colony off using a strong spray of water or a soft, moist cloth.
3) Tomato Pinworm
The tomato pinworm caterpillar feeds on the tomato plants foliage. It creates blotchy mines on the foliage. If left untreated the caterpillar will infiltrate the fruit and destroy it. The entrance hole into the fruit is often hard to detect until the tomato is picked and cut open. Numerous generations will thrive per season.
Pheromone traps placed within the tomato raws can help in control. Utilizing insecticides can also aid in control.
4) Stink Bugs
Stink bugs often bite the fruit of the tomato plant and inject toxins into the fruit that results in widespread cell death. The tomato will sport large yellow spots and the flesh will be white and hard. Numerous species of stink bugs enjoy feeding on tomatoes but the brown one is the most prevalent. Use an insecticidal spray for control of the stink bug.
5) Spider Mites
Spider mites infect both container grown tomatoes and garden grown. The leaves will begin to yellow and turn brown. The leaves will often crinkle and drop from the plant. A fine webbing is normally seen on the foliage. The mites themselves are tiny and appear in shades of red, brown or black.
Numerous insecticidal sprays are available for control or simply hosing the plant off every few days with water will effectively control the small insects.