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What's this beetle and how can I control it, organically?

Hi again all,

This thing has run rampant through many of my tomatoes. I left it for a while, as I don't like killing things unnecessarily, and because I thought there's plenty to go around, but it's just running amok like, and (I think) it's this that's wiped out many entire plants, now.... It lays black eggs all over the leaves, which I've been manually removing (to no avail)....any advice appreciated...

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

It looks like some kind of a stinkbug. This is not a fully grown one, an intermediate instar juvenile.

Stinkbugs that are sucking plant juice-type are bad to have on tomatoes, there ARE ALSO PREDATORY TYPES THAT SUCK OTHER BUGS’ BODY FOUIDS.

— I don’t know which kind this one is, though it looks similar but not quite same as Harlequin stinkbug with orange markings that I get in my garden. Harlequins don’t go after tomatoes in my garden, but there are other stinkbugs that do. The light marks on the bottom fruit and other marks may be sign of stinkbug damage. They are not quite obvious until you try to eat one and find corky, dried up/pale circular areas under the skin where they had sucked out the moisture.

They are impervious to resistant to pesticides in their adult and older juvie forms, but can be relatively easily captured early in the morning while dew is still on the plants or after overhead spraying with water. Drop them in container of soapy/sudsy water. Rub off the eggs or clip off the leaves with the eggs on them — be Sure they are stinkbug eggs — show Us a photo. Just hatched nymphs are easily squished or susceptible to even spraying with soapy water.

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Location: Stroudsburg, PA - Zone 6a

@applestar is right. It is a young bug (nymph) of the species Nezara viridula, commonly called a Southern Green Shieldbug and of the Pentatomidae family (Stink Bug).
n_viridula.jpg (30.68 KiB) Viewed 2700 times
A recent arrival in the UK, this large shieldbug differs from the much commoner Common Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina by the 3-5 white spots along the front edge of the scutellum and by the two dark marks at its corners. This species is uniformly green, lacking dark puncture marks, and the wing membrane is pale (but see freshly emerged P. prasina). In some individuals, the head and front margin of the pronotum is cream-coloured.

Native to Africa, but frequently imported to the UK in food produce, it is widespread in southern Europe and has been recorded annually from sites in southern England since 2003 on various foodplants including tomato, beans, golden-rod, Lavatera, Viburnum and hemp agrimony. Manyrecords are from allotments where bugs are associated with cultivated beans.

Adult: All year
Length 11-15 mm ... nk_bug.htm

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

It is not an immediate solution, but in the long run what organic gardeners need is lots of beneficial insects and insect predators. Stinkbugs and their like actually have many natural enemies including ladybugs, lacewings, praying mantis, parasitic flies, spiders, toads, birds. So you want to make your garden friendly to all these kinds of creatures. Plants that attract these insects include yarrow, all the carrot family stuff (including dill, fennel, coriander, etc), sunflowers, tansy, dandelions, and others.

Amaranth, okra, millet, buckwheat, marigold, and mustard are trap crops for them. Planted just outside your garden, they will attract the stinkbugs to them, getting them to leave your crop plants alone. Then you can just bag the trap crop plants and dispose.

If you have a bunch of them, you can try vacuuming them up with a hand held vacuum.

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