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Green Bug Eating My Tomatoes

Question:

I couldn't figure out what was eating my tomatoes plants. I was looking close one day and I found a bug. I will attach a pic of it. What is it? Please let me know and how too keep them off of my plants.

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Hardiness Zone: 5a

Thank You,
Joyce from WI

Answer:

Joyce,

There are one or two "green" bugs that are common tomato pests. By "bug" I'm going to assume that you're not describing a caterpillar or worm-like insect. The most common green colored bug affecting tomato plants is the Stink Bug. These bugs are shaped like a shield and usually have green or brown (and sometimes red, pink or yellow) markings. They get their name from the unpleasant odor they emit when handled. Symptoms of Stink Bug damage are tiny, dark, pin-prick-sized holes surrounded by lighter, discolored areas on green tomatoes. As the tomatoes ripen, the spots either remain green or turn a yellow-gold color and the tomato flesh appears white and spongy. Lygus is another green insect that feeds on the fruit and seeds of flowering vegetables like tomatoes. As adults, these insects are often green in color with a distinctive brown colored triangle in the center of the wing covers on their back. As nymphs, they are uniformly green in color, but lack wings. Both types of bugs can be controlled by handpicking them from plants or spraying them with a mild solution of water and liquid dish soap. Stink Bugs are attracted to light, so reducing your use of outdoor lights will also help keep their numbers down.

The Department of Entomology at Texas A & M University has a wonderful site to help gardeners identify common insect pests. http://vegipm.tamu.edu/imageindex.html You can click on color photos of each insect to read about what type of damage they do to garden plants.

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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August 16, 20060 found this helpful

The most common green bug on tomatoes is the Tomato Horn Worm. It is a very fat worm and eats the leaves mostly. If you see one, pick him off the plant and kill him by squashing him.

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Home and Garden Gardening Pest ControlAugust 10, 2006
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