HELP! These bugs are killing my tomatoes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-27-2010, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They're orange/red and remind me of lady bugs, but they're about twice the size. They're eating my beautiful tomato plants, snapping the branches. I can't figure out what they are by googling, and am not good at posting pictures on forums. Does anyone know what these are by my description? I need to get rid of them before they eat all my plants that I started from seed!!!

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#2 of 5 Old 05-27-2010, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I've figured out they're colorado potato beetles. Anyone got any good ideas how to get rid of them?

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#3 of 5 Old 05-27-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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I would put on some gloves and pick them off and drop them in soapy water. Then later this evening spray the plants with warm soapy water. Keep a close eye on them and keep spraying as needed over the next week or two.
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#4 of 5 Old 05-27-2010, 10:20 PM
 
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I got a book from the library called "Encyclopedia of Natural Insect and Disease Control". It offers several suggestions for dealing w/ Colorado Potato Beetles.

1. Handpick adults and crush yellow eggs which are found on the underside of the leaves.
2. Tops of wet plants can be dusted w/ wheat bran which, when eaten, causes the beetle to bloat up and rupture. (this suggestion was listed for use w/ potato plants, but I don't see why it wouldn't work for tomatoes).
3. Triple-Plus, which is a commercial compounding or fotenone, ryania, and pyrethrum.
They also say that toads eat a good number of the beetles.

Hope that helps!
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#5 of 5 Old 05-28-2010, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much! I went out this morning and, (wearing 2 gloves on each hand, ha ha!), picked off each bug I could find. It took forever - I have probably about 40 plants. But, it's worth it - I grew these from seed and they're at least a foot tall by now! I dropped them into a bucket of soapy water. I did find eggs twice, not on the plant leaves but on grass growing under the plants. (yes, I have grass in my garden. don't get me started about the tilling of it - beggars can't be choosers...)

I plan to go out tomorrow morning and pick them again. I don't have time to go to the store today for the wheat bran or Triple-Plus, but hope to do that tomorrow. I guess if I can get out daily and pick off the larve, it should help keep them from destroying more plants?

(I think I've only lost 2 plants, one's only a stem about 4 inches tall, the other is about 3 times the size, but completely leafless.)

Thanks for the help!

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