Tomatoes are, without a doubt, one of the vegetables that we find the most in our dishes. For this reason, more and more people are growing them at home, on a small plot, in their garden or in their urban garden. If you have these plants, it is convenient to know what the main tomato pests are and how to combat them.
Fighting pests in an organic garden is much easier than it may seem at first. Thus, if you have problems with the tomato plants in your garden, pay attention because we will explain everything about how to combat tomato pests ecologically and other diseases that attack these plants.
What are tomato pests and their diseases – complete list
To begin, we explain in detail what pests attack tomatoes , from fungi to insects, as well as viral and other diseases that are very common in these plants. We also mention in each case which are the best treatments for tomato diseases , but later we will explain in detail the best options to combat these pests and diseases, how to prepare each remedy and apply it.
There are green, yellow, white, black and red aphids, the latter is the one in the photo below. It is a very problematic pest because it spreads very quickly and consumes the sap of the plant until it is exhausted. You will be able to see it behind the leaves and on the stem.To combat it ecologically we recommend using garlic infusion or including natural predators of these insects, such as ladybugs or wasps.
They are insect larvae that enter the interior of the leaves and as they feed they leave some lines like a path that remind of mines, hence the name, seriously damaging the plant if it is not controlled. As they act very fast, the plant can die in a short time. The only totally ecological control of this problem is to cut the affected leaves and dispose of them in the organic garbage, away from the field, or to incinerate them.
It is a parasite that, in addition to damaging plants in itself, also transmits a virus known as tomato tanning. In this case, prevention is much better than fighting thrips later, as it is much more complicated. To prevent them from settling in the tomato plants, hang on these pieces of plastic that will annoy them and place blue sticky traps, which attract them.
Not only does it harm tomato plants by sucking out the sap, it also transmits disease. Place chromatic traps that scare them to avoid them and water them with neem oil once a month to prevent them and treat the plague if it already exists.
This is another of the pests of tomatoes outdoors , although they can also occur indoors if we already have affected plants outside. They appear when there is a lack of water and high temperatures. If you see them in your crops, the best way to fight them ecologically is to eliminate the plants that you see most affected, remove the weeds from around them, as they are places where they usually nest and shelter, and use remedies such as an infusion of garlic or release in the area natural predators of these, such as other mites called Amblyseius sp. and Phytoseiulus persimilis.
Butterfly caterpillars eat the leaves and young stems and shoots of tomato plants. Above all, the species Spodoptera sp. and absolute tuta. One of the best ecological options to remove them from tomato plants is to use the bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis , which can be purchased in agriculture and garden stores and damages the larvae, or to use ginger tea or infusion.
A fungus that affects the leaves and spots in different shades of green are observed, until they become very dark and the leaves finally die. Using an ecological sulfate for tomatoes , such as copper sulfate, or other remedies such as horsetail or nettle puncture can be fought.
It is another fungus that gives a whitish color to the leaves, on the front, and yellowish spots end up until the leaf dries completely. You can use homemade fungicides, such as milk, nasturtium infusion, nettles or horsetail, as well as powdered sulfur.
This other fungus makes the back of the leaves orange and the front yellow, until the plant dies. It can be treated with copper sulfate or any of the other home remedies for plant fungi that we have mentioned in the previous sections.
It is another fungus that attacks a wide variety of crops, but this one differs from the previous ones because it leaves black spots on the leaves and stems. You can combat tomato scab with copper sulfate, nettles, horsetail, sage, and tansy, or pinworm grass.
There are botrytis and white rot, which are fungi. Botrytis leaves the plant brown and white is detected because white cottony areas are observed. To combat them, use copper sulfate, infusion or extract of garlic, milk, nasturtium, nettles or potassium soap. The best way to prevent them is to avoid damage such as cuts, leave space between each plant for ventilation and remove the affected parts that we will see right away.
Lack of calcium or blossom end rot
We mention this other type of rot separately because it is not caused by a fungus itself, but rather the plant has a calcium deficiency, either because we contribute little to the soil or because it has problems assimilating it. The entire lower area of the fruit is seen to be darkened or totally black. It is best to water with infusion of eggshells or add them chopped in the earth itself and let them degrade in it.
Garlic infusion to combat tomato pests
One of the best insecticides for plants that, in addition, has more properties such as antibacterial and antifungal, is the infusion of garlic. To prepare this remedy, take note of how to make garlic infusion for plants , you can use it against aphids, spider mites, rot and other diseases.
- 1 liter of water
- 5 cloves of garlic
Preparation and application
- Peel the garlic cloves and chop them very small or crush them a little with the help of a mortar.
- In a pot or saucepan add the water and add the garlic when you have them ready.
- Cover the pot with a rag or cotton cloth and let it sit for 24 hours.
- Place the pot or saucepan on the stove over low or low heat for 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, let it cool and strain to remove the garlic pieces.
- Pour the liquid directly into the sprayer or spray.
- Spray the entire affected plant, on the areas where there are aphids and on those that do not to repel them from the healthy parts.
- Do it for 5 days in a row at sunrise or sunset, due to the temperature and the light.
Nettle slurry and horsetail for pests
Although it is a remedy that does not contain any slurry, as its common name could imply, it is so called because it is not a simple infusion of the plant that is being used, but there is a fermentation process that makes the result It is very powerful against a wide variety of diseases and pests of tomatoes and other crops.
Thus, nettles and horsetail are very suitable plants to combat pests in tomatoes, since in their fermentation very good bacteria are raised for the fixation of nitrogen in the soil, which is also provided in quantity at the same time with this liquid because it is an organic or natural fertilizer . In addition, these herbs help to strengthen the plant thanks to the silicon they contain, which helps to regenerate plant tissues and, in addition, they act as a powerful fungicide or antifungal and antiparasitic, therefore they serve to eliminate fungi, mites and aphids. , among others.
To prepare nettle slurry to combat pests in tomatoes , or horsetail, take note of these indications:
- 1 kg of nettles or 1 kg of fresh horsetail
- 10 liters of water, preferably rain
- Plastic jerrycan
- The drum can be made of plastic or another similar material, but iron must be avoided since rust will damage the mixture we want to obtain.
- Add the nettles to the drum and the rainwater to complete the indicated amount.
- Use a wooden stick to stir the mixture well, do not use tools or kitchen utensils that may have rust.
- Stir for 5-10 minutes once a day. In total it may take between 15 and 20 days.
- When you finish removing, cover the drum but in such a way that some air can enter it.
- Leave the drum in a cool area.
- Do it every day and when you see that there are fewer bubbles on the surface, due to fermentation, it will mean that there are 15 days left to finish, since this stage of fermentation usually lasts this period and this is the best time to use it as remedy for tomato pests and, above all, as a preventive method for these.
- Pour the liquid into a sulfate sprayer, sprinkler or backpack, with the help of a cloth, non-metallic strainer. Use the slurry on the soil as well as on the rest of the plant. When spraying it on the leaves and the stem it is better that you dilute this liquid in a proportion of 1 liter of slurry per 15 liters of water.
Finally, if you want to have more options of natural treatments for these problems, we offer you information about homemade fungicides so that you can see which one is best for you.