Note: Once a week I share a popular post from the archives. This post was originally published in June 2012.
We planted several different varieties of tomatoes this year. We planted Rutgers, Romas, Purple Cherokee, Lemon Boy, Yellow Pear and Yellow Cherry tomatoes. They have all done well and after the season is over I’ll share my thoughts on each variety in the season wrap up.
But last week I noticed some Leaf footed Bugs on them…
Here’s the adults. They’re kind of big and ugly looking. They’re related to the stink bug and they suck the juices out of the tomatoes.
The Rutger tomatoes are the most covered. We have 2 beds with this variety one at each end of the tomato area and both beds have a lot more leaf footed bugs than the other beds.
The Romas are the next susceptible.
I’ve only seen a few of these on the Lemon Boy.
I’ve not found any on the Purple Cherokee or the small tomatoes. I’m not saying they’ve never had any, I’m just saying I’ve not ever seen these bugs on the them nor have I’ve seen any leaffooted damage on the Purple Cherokees or the small bugs.
Want to know more about leaf footed bugs?
- There is only one generation per season (which is a good thing).
- They overwinter in sheltered spots.
- They emerge in the spring and mate.
- They lay white eggs on the underside of leaves.
- This is a hard bug to completely get rid of but citrus oil products can help a heavy infestation.
- Birds, snakes, lizards, spiders and frogs – we often relocate lizards and spiders to our garden from other areas of our property.
- Parasitic flies such as the tachinid fly will also help.
- Hand to hand combat – basically you clap your hands together squashing the bug. (Gross but effective)
- I did have a friend tell me that hyacinth beans and sunflowers attract leaf footed bugs and that she plants them near, but not in, her garden so that the bugs will eat the beans and sunflowers and leave the tomatoes alone. We might try that next year.