A few are already showing up, and I have too many tomatoes, etc to hand pick them off. Are there any "miracle" remedies out there yet? Does Neem help control them? Safer Brand has a product that claims to, but the cost might be prohibitive.
Neem--no, spinosad-no, pyrethrum-no. Nothing organic that I know of will kill them once they are adults. There is a non-organic control, cypermethrin, it has a 7 day wait before harvest, has a half life of 3 or 4 days, does not persist in the soil. I haven't tried this one because we are organic, but another grower said it works.
How disheartening! but thanks for your reply. I haven't had a veggie garden in over 20 yr, but went all in this year. Sign of the times?
Went out this AM and picked and squished a few, along with a few Jap Beetles and looked for eggs. Nothing yet.
You've got to stay on top of them and catch the nymphs! Those shy, cute, little orange "ants" with the long black legs, and that black bump on their butts. They run and hide behind the plant leaves when they're young.
They don't bite, fly, sting, jump, hop. They just run and hide behind things. Almost endearing ---until you remember they grow up to be STINKBUGS!
I use the latex glove or the BIC methods to control them.
►Apply latex gloves to both hands
►Approach nymphs from one direction. Use hand #1 as a decoy, and hand #2 to pop 'em as they run away from hand #1.
►Use a BIC fireplace lighter on their butts. Light em' up before they run and hide! Long as you singe a few legs, they won't be crawling back up to the plant again.
Predators on the ground will thank you for the snack...
I like the BIC part, I usually just do a swoop and squish, have even gotten pretty good at squishing the adults (they stink).
I was wondering how the BIC would work in 30mph wind? If I could get it to light, probably wouldn't have to weed for a while.
They park on your tomatoes, and stick their needle noses into the fruit. Then, they inject some sort of enzyme into the fruit to break it down, so they can extract juices from it. That enzyme causes hard patches to form on your tomatoes, rendering them unsellable, and less than appealing to eat...
Best to be on the look out for them when they're in the nymphs stage. If you see a HERD of what looks like little orange ants with black legs, and a black bump on their butt, all huddled together, go after them with a vengeance!!!!
I am trying a Bernzomatic TS4000. No, I didn't buy it just to torch stinkbugs, but as long as I have it... It is "instant-on", push-button ignition, uses inexpensive propane, and it will definitely work in 35mph wind.
i use castile soap and water and it flat kills the adults on contact. you have to have a direct hit but it kills them. i walk around the garden with my spray bottle and zap them. i had hundreds and hundreds for several years in a row before the castile and now the last two years, i hardly ever see any. for a quart bottle, i use a tablespoon per quart. it will kill anything but don't spray when the bees are flying; wait until evening or early morning.
i almost hate that they're gone...i'm sadistic when it comes to stink bugs...lol
it's called Dr. Bronner's and is liquid. walgreens and i think target both carry it. i buy mine in a two-pack from amazon. it comes in a good sized bottle and in different "flavors"...like mint, lavender, citrus. it makes the garden smell divine!
you won't be sorry. i was amazed at how fast it works. it's made up of nothing but oils but yet doesn't feel really greasy and i have never burned a plant with it. of course, i don't ever spray in the heat of the day and do be careful with the bees. one or two quick jets of this and the stink bug is history. since i love walking around my garden, it's easy for me to do but i also use it in a 1 gallon pump up sprayer to get eggs and other nasties that i can't see.
using it these past couple of years, i have noticed a great reduction in all bad bugs but i still have a lot of good bugs, maybe not as many as before because there isn't as much for them to eat...
The stuff sold by Safer for Stinkbug control (EndAll, http://www.saferbrand.com/store/garden-care/5102#desc) is according to them nothing but 1% soap, 0.9% neem "extract", and 0.012% natural pyrethrin. Shouldn't be hard to replicate for a lot less than the prepackaged stuff. (Hint: a "Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil" sounds like just the purified / filtered oil itself - it is already hydrophobic, as are most fixed oils).
it truly works on everything it touches. what i like about it is that unlike neem, there is no greasy coating to the leaves and thus the chances of burn are much less. also, it is not a systemic, it must touch and cover the pest.
i thought of you this morning as i made my daily ritual stroll through the garden, bottle in hand. used to be, i'd kill on average, 20 stink bugs in just 10 minutes or so. today i got through the whole garden and in the last couple seconds found one smallish one. it really has made a huge improvement.
another thing i have learned is to educate yourself on what the predatory stink bugs in your location look like, both as nymphs and adults. it is just too cool to watch one stab a bad bug and i have more of these good ones than i ever used to.
the castile will kill them so i take special care now not to spray everywhere without checking first.
You mean the Assassin bugs. I had a herd of them my first spring season at my home. Couldn't figure out why I didn't have a single bug climbing up my buckets to the plants. Then, I discovered the assassins in the Mexican Heather growing around the perimeter of my yard. Exactly beneath my eBuckets!
I haven't seen very many of them at all this season, though. Don't know where they went off to. I let the MH grow hoping they'd return, but they haven't that I can tell. So, I need new artillary against the stinkbugs.
Gonna share some with my neighbor two doors down. His tomato patch is totally overrun with adult stinkbugs, cause he didn't pop the nymphs like I suggested.
Will report on progress with the Dr. Bronner's. Thanks for sharing this tip. Now I wanna go spray the yard, just to have it smell like the lavender!
Ok, so I get home, and there are no stinkbugs to be found. Shoot!
So, I peruse the garden and see these little creatures on my baby eggplant leaves. I don't know what they are. They'e sort of longish, translucent ants. They crawl. In any case, they're candidates for what's putting those shotgun holes in my eggplant leaves, so they have to go.
So, I mix up the Dr. Bronner's, just cause I'm dying to see if this stuff works... I didn't have a quart spray bottle, so I found a smaller one and put one teaspoon of Dr.B in it. It turns whitish. Then, I go out and spritz the leaves, top and bottom. Smells GREAT! Bugs stop moving, and they don't move again...it WORKS!
Uh, the bugs are back. It rained today, so maybe the Dr. B got washed off. Maybe I didn't mix it strong enough?
Identifying these bugs is driving me nuts. When you come up on them, they look like translucent ants. When you pick one up, it has wings, but they don't take off flying like a fly. They just fall off the leaf down to the soil, and they use the wings to glide down. I looked at all sorts of nymphs today and didn't find it. Any hints would be appreciated.
castile soap doesn't have any residual effects other than maybe the scent repels certain things (like fleas with lavender). you have to do a direct hit to kill something. if it killed the first time, then the ratio of mix is fine.
it would really be helpful to try and get a photo of these things and post on the insect ID forum. you need to know what you're dealing with.
well, you have choices. you can keep spraying with the bronner's and hit as many as you can, undersides of plants especially. put your sprayer nozzle on a more misty setting instead of a stream. it will cover more.
if it's not raining or expected to rain for a few days, you can use garden grade diatomaceous earth. it's like a fine dusty stuff that will cut up any soft bodied pest. sulfur dusted on plants also works well.
personally, i would just keep misting with the bronners. you're not going to kill them all but it will make a huge dent in the population. clean up any dead or dying plants when the time comes because any pest loves to hide in there.
Calalily wrote:I need to mix up a sprayer full for whiteflies on my cucumbers, would it take about 1/4 cup to a gallon? My sprayer is a 4 gallon backpack sprayer. (600 row feet of cukes)
It is trying to rain here.
Are your cucumbers under cover and still bothered by whiteflies?
Kristi, the remay does keep them off. I just used shade cloth because it is easier to fasten to the frames and some of these cucumbers are Pony and Green Finger, not parthenocarpic like Little Leaf.
I read not to use pyrethrum or pyrethroid sprays on mites or whiteflies because they don't work, and may actually make matters worse because they kill the beneficials.
I've been using an insecticide soap spray, morning & evening. Fortunately, I don't have the volume of plants that you do. I may look into remay for next year as this is the second year I've dealt with them. I can keep them under control till we go on vacation.
Reading in an organic gardening book yesterday that plants in need of magnesium are more susceptible to whiteflies. As a result, I did a foliar spray with epsom salts. Hoping to reverse the headache. Thanks for clarifying the remay.
For all my garden insect pests, I use a mixture of 3 Tbs Dr. Bonners, mint or lavender, 1TBs desolved down Octagon Soap, with 1c tobacco juice (2Tbs or big pinch of chewing tobacco in 1 pt water, simmered) for 1 gal water. What bugs I miss with the soap, the tobacco juice gives a terminal case of dysentery.
Dysentery ~ LOL Jinxi. I have read that tobacco juice (nicotine) is also a good additive that is organic but I have an odd question about using it.
Many times smokers are warned about being around plants like tomatoes (and other nightshades) due to transmitting the tobacco mosaic virus. Why wouldn't a tobacco addditive not create the same issue? I have been hesitant to use it with the Safer soap or the Epsom spray. Does anyone have any experience with this?
it's something i've always read (the nicotine/tomato thing).
here is a quote from one of my older garden books:
"extracted from tobacco plants, nicotine is so poisonous that it's not available to home gardeners in its pure form. suppliers sell only nicotine sulfate, a formulation that's slightly less toxic but still potentially fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. it's also deadly to many beneficials. because less toxic alternatives are available, nicotine use has been sharply curtailed. it is now restricted (limited to professional applications or to use on particular pests or plants) in many states."
i realize that mixing up a liquid from old butts might not be as toxic as what is stated here, but yuck. i wouldn't use it on my plants.
kristi, there are certain books that i just can't part with...even with so much info online.
this particular book, Sunset Garden Pests & Diseases, is an old standby of mine. trying to stay organic and mindful of the earth can be very frustrating sometimes and whitefly is a particularly loathsome pest.
I started using the pinch of chewing tobacco after I read about it in Jerry Baker's Vegetable Gardening book and after seeing it again in Mother Earth News about 20 years ago, but I am going to do more research before using it again.
I was told that DE would work for the stink bugs. Dusted about 3 weeks ago and just noticed some back in the garden yesterday. Happened to be walking around the perimeter fence this morning with the BB gun (don't ask), found a bunch adults on the cantaloupe again. Rifle-butted a pair mating... Yep, they did stink!!!
Torched another one today. The best time to catch them seems to be at dusk, and the instant-on propane torch is definitely a winner. It produces a flame hot enough to melt solder, ignites faster than you can blink, and if you just press-and-release the trigger it is off again before it has time to even damage the leaves. So far I've only missed once, when I accidentally tapped a branch trying to get close.
You don't have to be right on top of them - the flame is effective 3-4 inches away from the nozzle, and like I said it is instantaneous - the bugs never have a chance.
I almost wish I didn't enjoy it so much, but after all the tomatoes I've lost in years past...well, it's just hard to feel guilty.
Well the soap didn't kill our stink bugs and it didn't even make a dent in the whitefly population. I drove 30 miles to the nearest store that has Dr Bronners, mixed up some and sprayed the leaf footed bugs, cucumber beetles and whiteflies. The stink bugs did fall over, for about 5 seconds, then they were up again. Cucumber beetles didn't even fall over!
I have coloidiall plant wash (a protein soap) that calls for one ounce per gallon so I mixed the Bronners at that ratio. I then moved up to 2 ounces per gallon and still no results except a few whiteflies were stuck to the leaves by the soap and the stink bugs laughed and said "give me more!"
I think I'm going to try Gymgirl's flamer and fry them!
It was either fall or early winter and I was working in the garden. I smelled smoke, but didn't take much notice because I knew that various neighbors were using their fireplaces. I carried on busy, busy, busy. When I looked up I realized I was surrounded by wood-smoke!
Decided I better find the source "just in case" - got to the south/west corner of our lot and realized the smoke was coming from a neighbor's house to the rear of our property. Ran in the house, grabbed the 'phone and dialed 911. Tried to explain that the fire was in the next street, and not at our house. When they asked what the house number was, I very calmly replied: "You'll know which house it is, it's the one with smoke coming from the rear!"
Evidently, the neighbor had thrown some "not-so-dead" ashes into a pile of leaves right outside of her backdoor. She had no idea that the side of her house and deck were in danger. If I hadn't been in the garden that day, who knows what the "end story" would have been.
trackinsand wrote:that is so strange. they die instantly when i spray them...
Which one do you use? There are at least a half-dozen different herb/oil combinations. Peppermint is the one I always use, on the theory that anything that penetrates my sinuses so thoroughly must be able to get into the bugs more easily as well. And it has proved the most effective on roaches.
i've used the regular, the peppermint, the lavender, the eucalyptus, the citrus. they all work the same in the killing for me.
i hate killing spiders but we do get a big Southern House Spider inside once in a while and it kills them too. normally, spiders are harder to kill than other insects, imho.
so your bugs are dying and ours are not, and we're using the same thing. let's figure out this mystery ...
tell me again exactly how you're mixing it. what measure are you using? what type sprayer? are you misting them or blasting off the leaves? I'll start over Saturday .
ok. i have a squirt bottle, 16 oz. that has the twist nozzle where you can turn it to off, then mist, then some heavier mist and finally a stream...typical bottle i buy at the grocery store or garden center. i turn the nozzle until it is somewhere in between. you want coverage over the whole bug. not a blast that makes them jump or fly off but a soaking "shower". i usually pump it twice for total coverage of a large bug. i add 1 tablespoon to the bottle of water and shake it up. i don't fill the bottle to the top with water, just to where the neck starts.
i realize this method isn't feasible for a million bugs..you'd be filling every couple of minutes but it is a good "spot" control method.
i also have a one gallon pump up sprayer from ACE hardware. i add water to the one gallon fill line and add a third of a cup of bronner's, shake it up and spray for larger areas. i set the nozzle basically the same as on the little bottle. you want the bug or bugs to stay put and be covering. it almost looks like a foam when i spray a bug.
we'll get those suckers yet!!! LOL
i dearly love the little bottle for instant gratification...
Ok. I have a spray bottle, but mine is a bit smaller than 16 oz. More like 8-10 oz. I'll mix more tomorrow with 1 Tbsp. and go after them again.
There IS good news. Even though I'm still seeing the buggies on the old leaves (the leaves look sort of speckled...), there are NEW leaves coming out fast! So, the Dr. Bronner's may be giving the plant enough relief from the buggies for it to grow past them.
Apart from the speckled leaves, the plant does look fine. Maybe the buggies aren't doing any damage at all, and I just think they should be gone away?
I accidentally discovered a cool, weird way to get rid of the stinkbugs.
When I go out to harvest, my roommate comes with me, with her "bee-bammer". It's one of those electrified fly swatter/badmitton racket looking things. She basically watches for aggressive wasps for me, as I am allergic, and while I don't mind sharing with vespids as a rule, I can't have one actually sting me.
Well, I reached for a tomato, and a stinkbug came zipping out. After the initial "incoming!" scream and determining that it's just a stinkbug and not a wasp, she had the clever idea of turning it on, and shaking the tomatoes with it. I swear that it sounded like she was cooking popcorn in there! After about 3 minutes, there were no more zaps, so, with trepidation, I went to collect the tomatoes. There were about a billion and one carcasses on the ground, but I did not get buzzed when I was harvesting.
Best of all, she came out with me a few days later and did the shaking of the bushes with the bee-bammer again, and there were only a few pops. It was great!
So, an alternative, that may be slightly less flammable, might be the electric swatter thingy. It definitely worked for us!
Happy to help! For what it is worth, I DID try to kill off the nymphs in the spring, but I was not doing very well at it, and got tired of them hiding from me. I'm ecstatic that the bee-bammer seems to be working.
I got a bunch of tomatoes yesterday, and we only killed off a few of the stinkers.
Gymgirl, the visual of you firing the Bic at the bugs is just too funny for words. I am imagining you with a Bic at the bottom of the plants, and my roommate above with the bammer - there wouldn't be a bug left to do ANYTHING.
Greenhouse Gal: I don't see why not. If you swing it at a flying critter, that thing is going DOWN. So, if you were to shake up the plants with it, I bet you could 'enjoy' the sound of popcorn, too. My roommate has gotten all kinds of things with hers, although the stinkbugs were the best.
The REAL FUNNY visual would be the look on my face, as I realized those little puffs! of flames were falling into my bone dry backyard grass, in last summer's drought, and the Indian "Stompum Outtum" dance I was doing in a quick, fast, hurry!
Lynda, do you remember the commercials for Tabasco sauce in the mid-80's?? The guys were eating some food and splashed Tabasco sauce on it, then you see a mosquito bite one of the guys and fly off. A couple of seconds later you see the mosquito explode... That was a great commercial...
I'm sitting here drinking my morning coffee and laughing as I read through this thread - thanks guys and gals for the levity! I too have tomatoes that get zapped by leaf-footed bugs, got to be on guard for the nymphs - that's when Spinosad will work on them.
It's another story when the adults invade - TRY - a Dust Buster hand vac! Sucks those B-----Ds right off the toms but you must get out early in the morning before they get warmed up and moving fast. Love that electric bug paddle idea; I've seen such at Harbor Freight stores. No bugs to dump from the vac bag!