Many times you’ll see that there are some ugly bugs that are eating your tomatoes and then it becomes obvious that you can’t eat those tomatoes. I faced this problem and did some research which helped me out and will help you out too
What can you do to get rid of bugs eating those tomatoes? The answer lies in prevention, protection and killing. Easiest away is to throw away that Tomato which is eaten by the bugs, but you surely cannot throw all the tomatoes away
So, here is what you can do to save the tomatoes as well as get rid of the bugs
What’s the easiest way to get rid of those tomato eating bugs?
The fastest and the number one way to get rid of them is to throw away the infected tomatoes so that the bugs doesn’t get inside other tomatoes. Them spray the other tomatoes with insecticides or mixture of vinegar, salt and water and keep it away from those infested tomatoes so, that not even a single one of those bugs can get to those tomatoes, also keep your tomatoes covered after taking it away from those infested tomatoes. Here is how you can mix, mix 1 spoon of vinegar with a little salt in 150 ml of water and put it on those tomatoes. For every additional 200 ml add 1 spoon of vinegar and a little salt.Please do remember that some of the bugs are very resilient and may not go away with this solution in that case it’s better to throw away those tomatoes or spray it with insecticide.
How often should I do this?
If you see bugs whenever you keep tomatoes in your house then you should do it every time so that the bug cannot even damage a single Tomato. If you have a huge amount of tomatoes stored in your house then consider spraying the mixture in those tomatoes and wash the tomatoes before consuming. This is probably the easiest and the most safest way to keep your tomatoes fresh and healthy and also will not cause any side-effects to you. It’s Better to avoid harsh chemicals if you are going to consume the tomatoes because you can have some health effects like you may feel nauseatic, stomach problems may also occur. It’s better to eat healthy and stay healthy. Tomatoes are delicate food so these bugs often attacks tomatoes. After spraying the tomatoes with the mixture it is advised to cover the tomatoes with some cloth to further reduce the chances of getting infested. But this solution may not work all the time continue reading to know what you can do in that case.
What if I have many tomatoes and most of them are infected?
In this case you need to observe which one of those tomatoes are not completely infested and remove them form the completely infested one immediately and spray this lot with strong insecticide and kill those bugs. You might need to throw away the infested tomatoes as they cannot be consumed but other ones can still be used if you feel it is still usable. After spraying it thoroughly with insecticide properly wash it with water. Use high pressurized water and spray it from a distance so that the tomatoes doesn’t get damaged and yet the bugs gets washed away. If you’re going to consume the tomatoes. Insecticides & pesticides can be really harmful for human health so it is highly advised to wash your hands wash the pesticides and them consume the tomatoes.
Is it okay to consume the tomatoes that are slightly infested?
Yes, you can consume the tomatoes that are slightly infested however you still need to wash them thoroughly with water and cut off the infested regions then you can consume the fresh regions where those bugs didn’t damage. But if a tomato is almost eaten by those bugs then it is better to not eat it but instead throw it away as if you consume the eaten parts you can fall ill so, just throw it away. Another important point to be remembered is some bugs are more dangerous than others so if you see those bugs its advised to throw that tomato away. If you see bugs like Mealy bugs, White flies, Scale insects you should throw that tomato away. Scale insects for example can even protect themselves against insecticides so it will be difficult to get rid of these bugs however Q- tip soaked in alcohol works really well you can use that to get rid of Scale insects. Generally it is advised to throw those tomatoes away that are infested but in case if they didn’t do that much of harm to the tomatoes you can follow the steps to consume it.
What kind of bugs or insects are harming my tomatoes?
There are couple of bugs and insects but we are going to tell you about the most common bugs that are harming your tomatoes.
Mealybugs : These bugs have white cotton like substance all over their body. They comes in number and comes over and over again. These white cotton like body is the way to identify them, these white cotton like substance also create wax like substance that makes these bugs difficult to wash away. So, when you spray it with water you’ll see that they are not getting washed away. Don’t get worried if this happens continue to spray water they’ll eventually wash away.
White flies : White flies are very common bugs they attack tomatoes and as soon as you start spraying water or insecticide they starts to fly away and again comes back when you stop spraying. If this happens then it’s best to spray the water and insecticide directly over the fly, even when they are trying to fly away that will reduce their number and also the young ones of these doesn’t seem to fly even when you’re spraying in that case just kill those young white flies and then after spray insecticide all over the tomatoes and cover it with some cloth that will keep the tomatoes safe.
Scale insects : Scale insects are small around 3 mm in length they are covered by a brown coloured shell that protects then from getting washed away and also protects them against insecticides and pesticides. They are hard to remove so the best way to kill them is to use Q tip soaked in alcohol.
Horn Worms: These are a close relative of caterpillar species, they can be small or can be as large as your thumb. Big Horn worms can completely destroy your tomatoes and they are difficult also they are very good in camouflage as they re green in colour. You can save your tomatoes by spraying with pesticides or you can just pick them by your hand and throw them away. Don’t forget to wear gloves. They can completely destroy tomatoes in minutes.
Stink Bugs: Stink bugs are another name that have become a major problem and had become a serious pest for tomatoes. Adult stink bugs are shield shaped and there is brown and green stink bugs . Green stink bugs grow around ½ inch to ¾ inch where as brown stink bugs can grow from ½ to 5/8 inch long. Their population increases during July through early October. They feed on tomatoes and make a cloudy patch thus making the tomatoes unmarketable and not edible. You can spray insecticides to reduce and kill these bugs. Some insecticides are Pyrethroids, Danitol, and Thionex. Whenever you see these bugs just spray these but once the tomatoes has been eaten it better to throw it away.
Thrips: Thrips also infest tomatoes they are very small 1/16 inch but they are very dangerous. They are slender and their colour vary from yellow to orange. Baby Thrips are almost impossible to see as you need 10x lens to see them. They make the tomatoes deformed and pale silverish in colour with brown spots in it. It can be very dangerous and you should immediately remove that tomato from the lot as it can affect other tomatoes. No need to to spray insecticides on Thrips infested tomatoes, just throw it away . Thrips also contain dangerous viruses that can damage your entire tomatoes. So, better just get rid of it.
There are other bugs but these are some of the common bugs that you’ll see in tomatoes. Normally you can spray insecticides and pesticides to get rid of most of these bugs and then clean it with water before consumption . You should also cover the tomatoes with cloth if you see too much bug infestation after spraying it with the chemicals and water.
What can I spray on my tomatoes? You can spray a mixture of vinegar, salt and water or you can make a spray made of baking soda and spray it weekly. But if there is too much infestation then you need to spray insecticides and pesticides.
Can I spray vinegar on my tomato plants? Yes, you can spray vinegar on tomato plants. Since, tomatoes are naturally acidic vinegar can act as a natural fungicide as well as fertilizer
Welcome to my blog. I have been doing pest control for years since my house, garden and pets were always attacked by various kinds of pests and as a result I had to know proper pest control techniques that works. In this blog I share all the tips and tricks that I know and I hope you’ll find it helpful.