When exposed to the suitable thriving condition consisting of full sun, nutrient-rich soil, and timely access to adequate quantities of water, tomatoes should not have any significant issues growing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Issues could creep in without you noticing in the first place, and quite often, they come in the form of pests that inflict heavy damage to the famous garden crop.
A tomato plant attracts several insects (read below), and if they are left unchecked, they won’t take time to ruin all the time and effort you invested to grow and nurture the plant, let alone seeing the fruit grow. But here is some good news: Keeping a close watch on the plant health and monitoring if their growth stages meet the right standards should help you spot tomato plant pests, and timely action to remove them can save your much-loved plant.
Let us take a look at some of the common tomato plant pests and how to remove them before they inflict damages.
Signs a tomato plant may be suffering from pest problem
• The leaves and stems of tomato plants are partially or entirely eaten and/or chewed.
• There are holes in leaves that have been curled or getting yellowish
• Purpling veins in the leaves of the plant
• The leaves have peculiar and non-natural development including tunneling or zigzag patterns
• Seedlings are disappearing entirely
• Plants are getting defoliated
• The fruits have holes and dark pinpricks
• Discoloured patches evident on fruit
The above-mentioned are just some of the common signs that communicate a possible pest issue harming the growth of a tomato plant. Therefore, it is essential to check tomato plants and their leaves, stems, and fruits almost daily for any existing issues and remove it immediately when a pest is spotted.
Now which pests are responsible for harming tomato plants and eventually destroying them altogether?
Here is a small list of commonly seen nasty critters ready to launch an attack on the tomato plant. After their introduction, we have enlisted some ways to get rid of them. Read on!
Common tomato pests
These bright white-winged insects can develop large colonies underside the leaves. They are visible to the eyes and, when disturned, such as when leaves are moved, will fly, forming like white clouds of flies. They thrive in warm and moist environments. Whiteflies are sap suckers and can bring damage to the tomato plant by weakening it. They are also notorious for spreading many types of fungal diseases to the plant.
Thrips can damage a plant by sucking its juice and scraping at flowers, and fruits, leaving plants with splotchy, pale leaves, eventually twisting and discolouring plants. They feed in large groups and could multiply quickly if left unchecked. They are known for spreading the tomato spotted wilt virus, bringing heavy yield losses in several plants, including tomatoes.
• Fruit borer
Fruit borers can attack plants any time of the growing season. Larvae usually feed on the leaves and can make holes in the fruit. They can eat the fruit content, causing it to rot. If left unchecked, they can cause severe damages to crop yield. Infact, in some regions of the world, tomato fruit borers are responsible for most losses in annual production.
• Leaf miner
belongs to the family of Gelechiidae, tomato leaf miners are another huge concern for tomato farmers. Although they feed on several crop plants, their main host, as their name refers to, is tomato. They can cause blotch-shaped mines in the leaves, affecting overall plant growth. They can reproduce quickly and should be controlled before they inflict irreversible damages.
Although they are small, their overpopulation can bring significant, visible damage to a garden. You may spot the delicate webbing in and around the plant and the underside of the plant with them in clusters. They can turn the leaves yellowish, eventually making it fall off, causing losses to yields.
They are difficult to see, but if you can spot ants, this could be a sign of possible aphid presence. Found on the underside of leaves, they can weaken the plant, and make leaves become wrongly shaped.
• Slug and snail
Spot leaves and fruits with large holes? This possibly is the act of a slug or snail. Look for the trails to identify and act immediately since failing to act on time may encourage them to cause further damage to the plant.
The above is a small list of pests that can bring significant damage to tomato plants.
Remove insects as and when spotted. Use safety measures as needed while removing. Spray insecticide with water if it helps eliminate the pests from causing plant damage. Most importantly, keep a regular watch on the plant health to spot any issues.
Common tomato pests or diseases with recommended product solutions (insecticides)