Q: I have a brown, funky-looking bug on my tomatoes. It flies and has large legs. Somebody told me it looked like a stink bug. Any ideas?
A: Funky aptly describes stink bugs and their kin. Their body shape is not like most insects. It is hard and shield-shaped. Stink bugs feed on many garden plants. They stick their mouthpart into a fruit or vegetable and suck out the juice. They don=t hurt tomato vines but you have probably seen the one-fourth inch diameter yellow discoloration surrounding a tiny black spot that denotes their damage. They get their name from the foul odor that issues when you mash them with your fingers.
Unless you’re growing tomatoes for market or desire perfection in your garden, let natural predators fight the bugs for you.
If that’s not enough, most garden insecticides (click for sources) will kill the pests with regular applications according to label directions.
To see a good picture of stinkbugs, visit Tomato Stink Bugs.
Visit Brown Marmorated Stinkbug for information about the newest stinkbug invasion.