In a container in my backyard is a tomato plant with 13 or 14 little tomatoes on it. It was planted late last spring and had a few scattered tomatoes. Earlier this fall, when I was clearing my other tomato containers, I didn't pull it out because it was blooming. As an experiment I left it alone. And, to my surprise it has started growing tomatoes in abundance.
The other day I noticed this really pretty green 5 sided-bug with an abstract shield on it's back. What is it? I had no idea. So I began to explore the web to learn more. Here's what I learned. It's a stink bug, which was under the category of "sucking" bugs. That means it has a proboscis that it just sticking the plant and sucks the very life out of the fruit. After much searching I found the Texas A&M web site through About.com. If you want to identify different kinds of munching and sucking bugs go here.
Once I had identified the critter that was interfering with the courage of my very special tomato plant, I visited the back yard to make sure the bugs were still there. They were. See below.
Stink bugs attacking my Valiant tomato plant.
Unfortunately there were plenty of photo opportunities. Clutching the above photos I went to San Gabriel Nursery, which is my favorite nursery, located in San Gabriel, CA. I came home armed with Tomato and Vegetable Insect Killer. The label assures me this is "Safer Brand? and that it is for "organic Gardening", that it contains insect killing soap and botantical Pyrethrins (which my earlier research let me know where from Chrysanthemums), and most importantly that it "CAN BE USED UP TO THE DAY OF HARVEST."
Stay tuned and I'll let you know how the Pasadena Stink Bug Massacre of Jan. 30, 2010 turns out.