What are the red bugs? How do you get rid of red bugs o tomato plants?
Tomatoes are one of the favorite homegrown vegetables gardeners love to have in their garden patch. However, tomato pests pose a threat to a productive harvest if they are left untreated.
Read on to learn about the common tomato-infesting bugs and how you can eradicate them from your garden.
The two tomato-infecting red bugs that can be spotted on your plant are the red leaf-foot bug nymphs and the red spider mites. Removing them from the plant can be quickly done by dousing the entire leaves and stem with water using a sprayer hose. Pay attention to the back of the leaves where they may hide.
Let me tell you more about how these bugs can damage your tomato plant and a few more tips on getting rid of them.
Also check: Yellow Leaves on Tomato Plants
What are red bugs?
The red leaf-footed bug nymphs look red, but they turn brown as adults.
They cause damage to vegetables. They drink the fluids of a developing tomato plant in spring. And because of this, it stops the growth of very young tomatoes, leaving the leaves sunken and yellow parts on the old ones.
Meanwhile, the signs that your tomato plant is suffering from red spider mite infestation are tiny red spiders with their webbing. And gray or brown discolored leaves. They thrive in dry and dusty conditions, drain your tomato leaves of their nutrients, spin their webs, and lay eggs.
Mite-infested tomato leaves lose chlorophyll and turn bronze or gray. The female mites use the wind current to get to the healthy ones after deteriorating a tomato. If left untreated, they can infiltrate your tomato crop and cause it to die.
Now that we know how damaging these insect pests are, let us explore how effortlessly we can eliminate their early infestation. This is the key to ensure that they don’t inflict damage on your tomato plant, and you can successfully harvest tomatoes all in good time.
How do you get rid of red bugs on tomato plants?
Getting rid of the red nymphs is much easier than controlling the adult bugs.
First, you must put on garden gloves when removing them because they release an unpleasant odor when disturbed.
As soon as you see them, brush them off the leaves into a soapy water container. Suction off large colonies using vacuum, and properly dispose of the contents of the dust cup by sealing the plastic bag.
How to get rid of red spider mites on tomatoes?
As stated earlier, spider mites love hot, dry, and dusty environments. Simply rinsing the whole plant and the surrounding soil with water using a sprayer hose discourages spider mites from invading your tomato plant.
Pay attention to spray the back of the leaves where they may hide. Soaking your entire tomato plant with water during hot and dry seasons is the key to keep them away from your plants.
Most gardeners do not want to apply commercial pesticides to their edible plants. That’s why most of them turn to homemade remedies that have ingredients that you can find in your kitchen. Now, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about these organic insect repellants.
Can You Spray White Vinegar on Tomato Plants?
White vinegar is often one of the common ingredients in home remedy bug sprays.
You can’t use vinegar on your tomato plant alone because its acidity may cause your plant to die. You must dilute it with water.
Making a test spray on a few leaves 72 hours before the application is a reasonable precaution. This will test your plant’s reaction to the pesticide.
If you see browning or yellowing on the leaves, it means the solution is too intense for the plant to handle. You need to find an alternative insecticide or increase the dilution of the mixture by adding water.
To make this mixture:
- Combine 2 to 3 tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap to a gallon of water.
- Stir the solution well.
- Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle.
- Water your tomato plant before applying the mixture to minimize the damage
- Spray it on your tomato plant, and make sure to treat the back of the leaves, too.
- Saturate the plant is dripping with the solution.
It is better to do this in the early evening after sunset.This way, you can leave the bug repellent solution on the plant overnight. Spraying in the evening minimizes the risk of the leaves getting damaged by the sun. Rinse the plant thoroughly the following day. Repeat this process every 2-3 days if infestation persists.
Will Soapy Water Kill My Tomato Plant?
Soap and water have been used for centuries as an insecticide. There is no published scientific evidence to support its effectiveness, but many experienced gardeners swear by them.
Pests that have small and soft bodies will succumb to this concoction. However, it has no ill effects on larger pests and insects. 1-2% of strength is the most effective ratio for a water and soap pesticide. This is equivalent to 1-2 tablespoons of dishwashing soap to a gallon of water.
Powdered or liquid detergent soap is too harmful for plant use and may cause the plant to die. Follow the same precautions when applying this solution.
- Perform a test spray before applying it to the whole plant.
- Soak your plant with water before application.
- Apply the solution in the evening after sunset.
- Rinse the plant thoroughly the following day to prevent sun damage.
These red bugs that are insect pests of tomatoes can be efficiently dealt with during the early stages of infestation.
The key is early treatment before they can wreak havoc on your tomato crop.
Homemade remedies that can be easily found in your kitchen are becoming more popular with home gardeners. They don’t have harmful effects on the environment. You may use them as needed and with precaution.