Stink Bugs in the Garden!

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Two years ago I had leaf footed bugs, which are a cousin to the stink bug, and affect fruits in the same way. I only had 6 tomato plants at the time and picked them all off by hand. The next year they weren't a problem. This year I have 22 plants, and stink bugs out the ying yang. What can I do that isn't hand picking? I have ordered some traps on Amazon, but the reviews were so-so. I just received them last night and will set them up today.

I hate stink bugs so much. More than any other creepy crawly species on this planet.
 

CrealCritter

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Two years ago I had leaf footed bugs, which are a cousin to the stink bug, and affect fruits in the same way. I only had 6 tomato plants at the time and picked them all off by hand. The next year they weren't a problem. This year I have 22 plants, and stink bugs out the ying yang. What can I do that isn't hand picking? I have ordered some traps on Amazon, but the reviews were so-so. I just received them last night and will set them up today.

I hate stink bugs so much. More than any other creepy crawly species on this planet.
Have you tried water, neem oil and Palmolive green original?
 
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Have you tried water, neem oil and Palmolive green original?
I have used neem as an anti fungal prior to plants blossoming, however I have honeybees so I would rather not use it at this point in time. There are too many plants to attempt deadheading.
 
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Neem will NOT hurt bees. It only affects sucking/chewing insects.
It says on the bottle that neem can be harmful to bees. While I'd like to take that leap of faith, the hives were an incredibly expensive investment :( I would only do if if I deadhead the plants or they weren't actively flowering.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Everything I've read says that Neem WILL affect bees. Of course, like all other things, a lot depends on how and when it's being used. Obviously, if it's being used on non flowering plants, the bees wouldn't likely be contacting it anyways.
 

Britesea

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According to Carolyn Breece Faculty Research Assistant Horticulture, neem must be ingested in order for it to be toxic to bees. It is much less toxic to bees than most other insecticides, but it can harm them if some of the residue gets on the flowers. She suggests trying not to spray on flowers, and spray in the evening, when bees are not as active. So that might not be a good choice for you.
Another possibility is that since tomatoes don't need a pollinator, you could cover them with one of those insect-blocking fabrics instead of using a spray. Last ditch would be to go out there and hand pick the buggers.
 
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According to Carolyn Breece Faculty Research Assistant Horticulture, neem must be ingested in order for it to be toxic to bees. It is much less toxic to bees than most other insecticides, but it can harm them if some of the residue gets on the flowers. She suggests trying not to spray on flowers, and spray in the evening, when bees are not as active. So that might not be a good choice for you.
Another possibility is that since tomatoes don't need a pollinator, you could cover them with one of those insect-blocking fabrics instead of using a spray. Last ditch would be to go out there and hand pick the buggers.
I think I’ll have to hand pick. I have 22 plants. Too many to cover! I’ve lost probably 75% of my harvest this year. I’m going to grow a determinant variety next year. Get them done and over with instead of drag the season on.
 

flowerbug

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all i can say is it helps to encourage diversity in your area/yard/gardens, put in bird baths to encourage birds to visit, don't feed the birds as that will encourage them to forage in the gardens for bugs, have some perennial gardens every few spaces, they don't need to be large gardens, but you want them to provide food, flowers and habitat for the various bug eating predators, put up an insect hotel here or there and have fun watching what happens.

we do all of these things and while we do have bug problems here or there we can usually work around them.

for us, this year the Japanese Beetles are plentiful, i'm supposed to be out there right now picking bugs off plants but it is raining. also we've had a good population of tomato worms this year and i've picked them off too when i can find them (by contrast last year was hardly any of either).

i'm not sure what stink bugs do to tomato plants, we've not had enough of them here for me to notice them being a problem.
 

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