Pests and Diseases forum: Tomato pests and ladybugs to the rescue!

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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Jun 4, 2016 7:10 PM CST
I don't remember having white flies on my tomato plants, or aphids but this year I have both! And some other things crawling around! As an all organic all the time gardener, I've been using the old fashioned method of washing the bugs off the leaves with my hands and a spray of water. If you've ever used this method before, you know how tedious it is, not to mention a little icky!

Not long after I notice all these bugs on the tomato plants did I see a couple of ladybugs. Then there were ladybug larvae and I found ladybug eggs. Hurray!

Lucky for me ladybug larvae eat a lot! More than the fully grown ladybugs.
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Here's when I first discovered the whiteflies on the plants.
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And the aphids! Glare
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Now what!? Angry I'm still not sure what these little things are... they kinda' look like little spiders.
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What in the world isn't going on here!!? Blinking
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I ran out of time to show you the rest of the ladybug pictures, so I'll have to continue tomorrow.

TO BE CONTINUED...
Smiling
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Jun 5, 2016 11:06 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1171638 (1)
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jun 5, 2016 11:30 AM CST
Suspense!
Porkpal
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Jun 5, 2016 11:47 AM CST
It's only been a couple of weeks since I first noticed the bugs on my tomato plants so, they were getting pretty big already with fruit beginning to form. Some actually good sized. I was concerned because I thought it would be such a shame to lose them to this infestation.
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The day following their discovery, I found the first ladybug. And the day after that, I found a couple more. Hurray!
Within what I'm guessing was just a few days, there were ladybug larvae crawling around. But they didn't seem to be taking care of the pests fast enough for my liking. So, I continued spraying and wiping them off by hand, being careful not to wipe away any of my little friends. Crossing Fingers!
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Since I've never had these pests on my tomato plants before, I wondered if it was all the rain we had this year that prompted them. That was until I found this ladybug pupa covered with ants. I wondered what are those ants doing to that pupa? Could it be that they've been farming the aphids and the ladybugs are a threat? I'm still wondering.

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One day while washing off the leaves, I found these eggs. I think they're ladybug eggs. Whoops, I disturbed them a bit but I hope they'll still be okay to hatch. Okay good, I found more. Rolling my eyes.

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The other day while again washing leaves off, I ran across so many ladybug larvae that I decided to stop and let them take over the job. Smiling

I'll put this picture again because I think it looks kinda funny how the larvae look so large in proportion to my hand. Hilarious!
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Here's a picture I took of some of the tomato plants this morning. So far so good.
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I'll let you all know how it goes. Green Grin!




May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Jun 6, 2016 2:06 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1172365 (3)
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Jun 6, 2016 10:15 AM CST
This mornings inspection was quite remarkable. I could hardly find any aphids. Green Grin! This is amazing! I didn't do a real thorough inspection but did see some larva crawling around and some sitting still looking fat and happy. Also saw a few pupa on leaves.

Will keep up with regular inspections to see any changes. Aphids are born alive and I don't know how fast that happens.

Good job little aphid eater!
Thumb of 2016-06-06/wildflowers/1b92dc

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Jun 7, 2016 5:25 PM CST
Today I did a closer inspection of the leaves. Couldn't find hardly any aphids or whiteflies anywhere. What I did find I think were exoskeletons. But there were lots of signs of the ladybugs.

Just a few leftovers...
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Lots going on here but I think it's a bunch of skins and a very full larvae. Many of them are belly up.
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A few here and there but I think they're more exoskeletons
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More of the same
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There were dozens of larvae, many were sitting still, probably full and more small larvae crawling around.

Woah! Maybe they're running out of aphids because it looks like this larvae is eating the ladybug pupa. Yes, they are cannibalistic!
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More pupa. Hurray!
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I saw some ladybugs too. Smiling

So far so good!
Thumb of 2016-06-07/wildflowers/eb0754

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Jun 7, 2016 5:34 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1175351 (5)
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Jun 14, 2016 9:11 AM CST
Update - There are no more aphids or whiteflies in the gardens! None of them. Hurray!

It's been pest free for at least the past four days now. I'm really happily surprised at how fast the ladybugs (in all stages) managed to completely clean up all of the tomato plants, from three gardens. I will definitely rely on them anytime to take care of a whitefly or aphid problem!

From last week to now~

Newly emerged ladybug
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Larvae searching for aphids, none in sight
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In the front garden, I did see a few aphids, although it was harder to find any alive.

The other day I found this aphid eater - a lacewing! Smiling
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So it looks like I no longer have an aphid or whitefly problem. Even the little spider mite looking bugs are gone. I did see one leaf that looked like it might have had spider mite damage, so think they might have also been present.

Just some reminders left behind.
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And more good news, if any whiteflies were left behind, my little hummingbird friends will surely eat them up.
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And my other garden friends, like the Pheobes that watch over my gardens and drop in every day. Smiling

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Now to wait for the tomatoes to ripen!

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May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Jul 6, 2016 9:43 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1182276 (6)
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jun 15, 2016 6:55 AM CST
It is great to see the good guys win!
Porkpal
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Jun 15, 2016 7:07 AM CST
Thank, Porkpal. I didn't know what was going to happen so it was a happy ending for sure.

After all these years of organic gardening and trying to encourage beneficial insects, it was great to see them in action and win! I must admit, it looked pretty hopeless for days with so many aphids and whiteflies all together and covering every leaf and stem! Even the flowers were covered!

Ladybugs are a fast and effective pest control! Thumbs up Thumbs up
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb


RonaldPetty
Jul 8, 2016 12:26 AM CST
Nice to hear this!
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Jul 8, 2016 7:20 AM CST
Thank you Ronald.

Tomatoes, lots of them. Green Grin!

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Amish Paste


Kellogg's Breakfast
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Ananas Niore, from the front garden which had the most aphids and whiteflies covering them!
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May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Jul 18, 2016 3:22 PM CST
I think I might have learned what the things in this picture are Smiling ... aphid mummies!! http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/ben...

wildflowers said:

Now what!? Angry I'm still not sure what these little things are... they kinda' look like little spiders.
Thumb of 2016-06-05/wildflowers/055a84


Photo from the site posted above:
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May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Jul 18, 2016 3:25 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1216556 (11)

RosesMaid
Jul 22, 2016 4:41 AM CST
So nice to see that it's a happy ending. Hurray!

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