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By Gattina

Bologna, Italy It

Each year our garden is attacked by ever-increasing hordes of hemipterans/stink bugs/plant lice/pidocchi (pentatomids), mostly the green ones, but brown as well, and the problem is getting worse. Does anyone have a good method of killing or keeping at bay these insect thugs? Last year, virtually no-one hereabouts had a tomato crop worth the picking, which was a serious blow in this area.



Controls: Since they congregate on weeds, the best control is to keep the garden weeded and handpick insects when found. Drop into soapy water to kill them.
•Rotate your crops by not planting tomatoes in the same soil where tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant have been planted for at least two years.
•Stake and mulch tomato plants to keep foliage from contact with the soil.
•Use fresh deep soil with good drainage.
•Inspect tomato seedlings before planting and destroy any that show disease or pest damage.
•Increase the amount of organic matter in the soil. In particular, well rotted manure will increase fertility and decrease nematodes.

13 Feb, 2015


Hi Gattina, Np has given good advice there, I don't think there is a 1 kills all product on the market, that will kill all 80,000 species, Derek.

16 Feb, 2015


Thank you so much, Nosey and Derek. I think our main problem is that we are surrounded by wasteland, meadows and other people's neglected gardens, which regularly reseed ours with weeds, and provide a haven for these pesky critturs. I must say I would prefer not to use chemical coshes, and have heard good things of planting basil and Tagetes around susceptible plants as a biological deterrent. I have also, just this morning been advised to try spraying with a solution of neem oil. Has anyone come across this, and more importantly, DOES IT WORK?

19 Feb, 2015


I cant help you there gattina hows things with you and your porcupines ?

19 Feb, 2015


Hi Gattina, I've never used neem oil, but if you google Azadirachta indica, there are a number of pages on it, and it's uses, it's a natural insecticide, and is found in over 100 types of insecticide available, so presumably it works, Derek.

19 Feb, 2015


I believe, from what I've heard, Derek, it forms a cuticle over the spiracles of insects and stifles them - nasty, but better than poison, I suppose. Nosey - our porcupines should be hibernating right now, We had a very gentle year in 2014 - no extremes of temperature, so no drought forcing the poor things to depredate gardens and dig up bulbs, and we didn't actually see any. No-one likes killing things they don't have to, and they are supposed to be protected, anyway. We've seen them doing their charming mating dance - beats "strictly" any day.

20 Feb, 2015


hell yes id love to watch them . must be interesting for them actually mating .

20 Feb, 2015


They seem to enjoy it.

20 Feb, 2015


well I guess they would be extinct if they didn't lol x .

20 Feb, 2015

How do I say thanks?

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