Tomatoes are a favored and versatile food that many people love to grow and to eat. However, like with any plant, growing tomatoes are not without it risks and one of the biggest risks is the number of pests that love eating tomatoes almost as much as people do! Here is a look at some of the garden pests that love to eat tomato plants.
There are many different types and colors of Aphids. These tiny insects attack plants in clusters normally attacking the stems or new growths of tomato plants. Large clusters of these insects can destroy an entire tomato crop. If the problem involving Aphids is still small lady bugs or lacewings in your garden may stop these insects from doing any real damage.
Cutworms are grub like caterpillars that tend to feed on young plant stems. These moth larvae hide under the soil during the daytime and come out at dark to feet on young plant stems. Fighting these cutworms may be as simple as putting collars around your seedlings to protect your plants from serious damage.
Flea beetles are small jumping beetles that can do a lot of damage to your tomato plants since adults eat the foliage of plants while the larvae feed on the roots. An infestation of flea beetles can completely destroy your tomato plants if something is not done to prevent the infestation or stop it before it reaches uncontrollable proportions.
Horn worms are large green caterpillars that easily blend into the leaves the your tomato and other plants. They normally can be found on the underside of the leaf and they eat holes in the leaves of your plant. If the Horn Worm infestation is not too large you can pick the caterpillars off by hand and drop them into soapy water to kill them. However, you will need to do this on a daily basis to ensure that your tomato crop does not get ruined by your missing some of these caterpillars.
Nematodes are microscopic worms that come in many different varieties. Some Nematodes may actually be beneficial to some of your garden plants by eating other garden pests. However, Root Knot nematodes can do serious damage your tomato and other plants by causing bumps or galls on your plants that affects their ability to take in nutrients. You can help defend against Root Knot nematodes by rotating your crops each season or sterilizing your soil before planting.
White flies are tiny flying insects that feed off the juice of some plants. There are several organic means of fighting white fly infestations preventing them from ruining your crops.
Insects aren’t the only pest that can wreak havoc on your tomato plants. There are several animals that also enjoy the taste of the tomato plant and even the fruit itself including mice, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, deer and raccoon.
While fences can keep some of these pesky animals from your garden you will have to find other means of dealing with smaller rodents and the sneaky raccoons if they pose a problem.