Insects versus gardener: the battle continues!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ravenlost, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's been three days since I found a tobacco hornworm on my tomatoes. I was just starting to relax and WHAM...found my first Japanese beetle on the squash this morning.

    ARGGGGGGGGGG...I'm starting to have nightmares about fighting huge bugs every night!

    :grit:
     
  2. Real Hawkeye

    Real Hawkeye Well-Known Member

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    Could you manage them by just picking them off and dropping them in karosene a few times a week?

    Is it possible to post pictures on this web site? I would like a bug identified that sits on my tomatoes. Not sure if he is doing harm or not. Cannot find it in any books I have.
     

  3. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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  4. Real Hawkeye

    Real Hawkeye Well-Known Member

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    I have bugs that look like the assassin bugs in my garden, but those are not the ones I'm talking about, though they do seem to hang around the other bugs, and also don't appear to do any harm to plants. The bugs I'm talking about on my tomatoes are about a quarter inch long, are brown on top and green on bottom. Have two points at the shoulders, have wings with a hard case over them, and I never see them fly. They are about half as wide as long. Seem fearless, and when I knock them off, they just fall and don't fly away. Hard bodied. Any clue? I caught one today and took a digital picture, intending to post it, but it doesn't seem possible on this site.
     
  5. Real Hawkeye

    Real Hawkeye Well-Known Member

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    http://entweb.clemson.edu/cuentres/cesheets/benefici/ce169.htm This is a picture of the other bugs in my garden that seem to hang out with the tomato sitting bugs. Hopefully, they will keep the tomato sitter in check. I was wondering what they were, and you really helped out there. Are assassins considered a good thing in a vegitable garden? Seems to me they would be, but I could be wrong.

    Let's see if this works. Here's a link to the picture I took of the tomato sitting bugs. They alse secrete a clear liquid from their rears on the tomatoes. Any clue? http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/member_images//518597-SmallBug.JPG
     
  6. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup, looks like a stink bug to me and they will eat holes in your green tomatoes.

    Assassin bugs are good in the garden as they eat harmful bugs. Stink bugs are BAD. According to my copy of Rodale's Garden Insect, Disease and Weed Identification Guide the Brown Stink Bug will "puncture fruit skin to feed, causing a gummy substance to appear. Injured fruit has a catfaced or pitted appearance."

    The book says weed control is the best preventive measure. They like blackberry, cabbage, corn, peach and tomato.
     
  7. Real Hawkeye

    Real Hawkeye Well-Known Member

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    Ok, how do I get rid of them short of insecticides? Is there a tool for picking them off, or maybe something to suck them up with? I read that things like this can just be controlled by picking them off every day, and letting their predators finish off the remaining few, but they are pretty good at hiding places where it's hard to get at them with my fingers. Ideas?

    Also, why does weed control help?
     
  8. Nan

    Nan Well-Known Member

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    Assassin bugs are great in the garden....but I got stung? bit? by one once and it delivers a pretty good zap! I leave them in there though and just make sure I am more careful when I pick okra and tomatoes and other veggies that they like to hang out on. So....be careful to not disturb them. They are also called Wheel bugs where I used to live, back in Oklahoma. Many different types of them.
     
  9. Real Hawkeye

    Real Hawkeye Well-Known Member

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    It's great to know. I've seen them in there for a while, and just didn't know what they were or if they were friend of foe. I have been taking more notice of them since I found out what they are, and I observe that the tomatoes that have assassin bugs on them don't have any stink bugs on them. I wish more would come to my garden and kill off all the stink bugs. One bunch of tomatoes is already messed up, and now they are spreading to other green tomatoes. I mowed the grass down really short around my garden. I guess the reason you are supposed to do that is to make it harder for the stinkers to hide from predators. Apparently, at any given time, 90% of your stink bug population is not on the tomatoes, but is in the nearby grass hiding until they get hungry enough to risk predation on the tomatoes. Short grass means fewer hiding places from predators like toads, birds, spiders and assassins.