last season my tomatoes were plagued by a green beetle that appeared
to suck the outside of the fruit, where they got hard patches and
areas of rot. How can I get rid of them next season? And can you
recommend anything for white butterfly caterpillars? I use Derris
Dust but it doesn't seem to give me good control.
sounds like your tomato problem is caused by green vegetable bugs
which, while damaging fruit, also feed on stems and leaves of a
variety of plants. They are susceptible to most insecticides, including
the low-toxicity types such as Garlic & Pyrethrum and Nature's Way
Pyrethrum, though you need to make sure the spray makes contact
with the bugs.
Ideally, check your
plants regularly and try to control the bugs in their young stage
before they can cause much damage. Young green vegetable bugs don't
have wings like their parents - they are smaller and come in a variety
of colours often with black and white, or brownish markings. Derris
Dust should also give good control but, as with white butterfly
caterpillars, you need to make sure to apply it where the bugs will
make contact, often underneath the leaves. And you must apply it
frequently (7-10 day intervals) and more often in wet weather as
rain can reduce its efficacy.
The sprays mentioned
above should also knock down your caterpillars but you could also
try Success Naturalyte, an environmentally friendly product which
affects caterpillars only.
Gardener, Issue 200, 2006, Page 39
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.