Tomatoes And Beneficial Insects Identification

          The best natural means of controlling pests in a garden is to encourage the growth of their natural enemies. All the insects in a garden are not harmful. There are certain beneficial insects that feed on pests and also pollinate flowers. However, beneficial insects can be segregated from bad ones only when one knows how to identify them.

          Tomato is one vegetable which is heavily damaged by a wide range of insect pests. Some of these include tomato fruitworms, potato aphids, stink bugs, leaffooted bugs, hornworms and silverleaf whitefly. Tomato fruitworms are the most common tomato pests feeding on tomato, corn, soybeans, peppers, tobacco, beans, okra and cotton. These worms feed on tomato leaves and fruits causing distorted leaves and damaging the tomato fruits. Another common tomato pest is the potato aphid causing stunted growth, curled leaves, mosaics and reduced yield. Attack of stinkbugs, hornworms and leaffooted bugs causes immature fruit fall, reduced germination and damaged foliage.

          A good way to control these pests from causing damage to tomato plant is to attract beneficial insects to the garden. Some useful insects that are commonly available in a garden include the ladybug beetle that feeds on aphids, dragonflies and damselflies that feed on mosquitoes and lacewings that feed on aphids. Minute pirate bugs are useful predatory bugs that feed on many insects including tomato hornworms, fruitworms and caterpillars. These bugs are attracted to places that provide them shelter. Such places include bunch grasses and shrubs. Apart from pests, predatory bugs also feed on corn, nectar and pollen available in flowers.

Tomatoes And Beneficial Insects Identification






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