Do Japanese beetles eat tomato plants? (Find Out!)
Tomatoes are high-demand fruits/vegetables you can grow in your kitchen garden or greenhouse hydroponics system. However, they require a lot of attention before they are ripe. Often, they get attacked by pests and diseases if you’re not careful. One of the concerns the tomato growers have is whether Japanese beetles are among the pests that eat tomato plants.
Yes, Japanese beetles eat tomato plants, and that’s, in fact, their favorite plant. The adult Japanese beetles eat the leaves of tomatoes between the veins, leaving many holes in the plant. Also, they leave unhealthy brown patches and fly from one plant to the next in your garden.
The best way to stop these pests is to eliminate them from your garden. If you’re planning to do so, this guide will help you understand the natural ways to keep them away from the plants they’re attracted to.
How Do You Keep Japanese Beetles Away Naturally?
If you don’t want these pests to destroy your tomatoes, it is best to eradicate them permanently. You can do that using different ways, but natural means are the best method. You can do that by;
Hand Picking the Japanese Beetles
Many tomato growers can testify that handpicking is the most effective way to do away with Japanese beetles. It’s best to collect them in the morning when they’re active and sluggish. Pick each and drop them in a bucket of water.
Consider Covering Rows
Japanese beetles stay active from 6 to 8 weeks per year which is their peak feeding season. This is usually from mid-June to the end of July. So, look for the right way to cover your tomatoes during this period to protect them from Japanese beetles. Use floating row covers for this.
Use Neem Oil
Alternatively, you can use neem oil to get these pests away from your tomatoes. Make neem oil spray, then spray it on your tomatoes. You should spray your tomatoes several times before spring to kill the Japanese beetle eggs.
Plant Garlic or Geraniums
Another method of repelling Japanese beetles from your tomatoes is planting garlic in the same garden. These pests won’t withstand the smell of garlic, making them go away.
Also, if you plant geraniums around your tomatoes, the Japanese beetles will eat them instead because they love the plant. However, after eating it, they’ll drop dead, saving you from headaches.
Spray Your Tomatoes with A Hose
If you want the Japanese beetles to leave your tomatoes, spray them using a hose. Spray them early in the morning after setting the hose into high power. Using a low-power hose setting or watering them won’t remove these pests from the tomato’s leaves. Also, spray in the evening every day until all the Japanese beetles disappear.
Use Dead Japanese Beetles
You can also use dead Japanese beetles to chase live Japanese beetles. You can trap the live Japanese beetles into a bag and then let them die. Then pound them, make a hole in the bag, bring the bag near your tomatoes, and wait to see the wonders.
What Plants Are Japanese Beetles Most Attracted To?
Although Japanese beetles feed on any plant, they’re most attracted to some. Here are the plants that these pests love because of their softer foliage and flesh between the veins;
- Crape apple
- Pin oak
- Japanese maple
- Norway maple
- American linden
Japanese beetles can destroy your tomatoes, bringing your hard-earned money and energy to waste. To prevent this, select any of the best ways to rid them of your garden and wait for a bumper harvest. You can also avoid planting plants that these pests are attracted to near your tomatoes.
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