If you have cherry tomato plants in your garden, you may have noticed small black and yellow bugs crawling on the leaves and stems. These bugs are called crusader bugs, also known as spined soldier bugs. While they are beneficial insects that prey on harmful pests in the garden, they can also cause damage to your cherry tomato plants if their population grows too large.
Here are some ways to get rid of crusader bugs on cherry tomato plants:
One way to control crusader bugs is to handpick them off your cherry tomato plants. Use a pair of gloves or tweezers to avoid getting stung by their spines. Drop the bugs into a bucket of soapy water to kill them.
2. Neem Oil Spray
Another effective method to get rid of crusader bugs is by using neem oil spray. Mix 1 tablespoon of neem oil with 1 gallon of water and spray it on the leaves and stems of your cherry tomato plants. The neem oil will suffocate the bugs and prevent them from reproducing.
3. Beneficial Insects
You can also attract beneficial insects that prey on crusader bugs to your garden. Ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises are all natural predators of crusader bugs. Planting flowers such as marigolds, cosmos, and zinnias can attract these beneficial insects to your garden.
Pruning the affected parts of your cherry tomato plant can also help get rid of crusader bugs. Remove any damaged leaves or stems that may be housing the bugs.
5. Insecticidal Soap
Insecticidal soap is another option for controlling crusader bugs on cherry tomato plants. Spray the soap solution on the affected parts of your plant once a week until the bugs are gone.
By combining these methods, you can effectively control crusader bugs on your cherry tomato plants without harming other beneficial insects.
Are crusader bugs harmful to humans?
Crusader bugs are not harmful to humans, but they can cause painful stings if handled improperly.
Can crusader bugs be beneficial for my garden?
Yes, crusader bugs are beneficial insects that prey on harmful pests in the garden. However, their population should be controlled to prevent damage to your plants.
How do I prevent crusader bugs from returning to my garden?
Regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation, and promptly remove any affected parts of the plant. Attracting beneficial insects to your garden can also help keep crusader bug populations in check.
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