When growing tomatoes sometimes have to deal with their main enemy - aphids. Insects often attack tomato bushes and other plants in the garden. Their appearance occurs unexpectedly and causes enormous damage to the culture.
To know how to deal with parasites, you need to examine the reason for their appearance. With the right measures aphid can get rid of and save the crop.
Description and types
The insect has a small size, the length of the body barely reaches 5-7 millimeters. The aphid has a small proboscis, with which it attaches and sucks all the juice from the culture. Through it, infection of tomatoes with viral infections occurs, therefore the pest is considered to be the carrier of many diseases: tomato mosaic, phytophtora, powdery mildew, and others. Insect while feeding juice produces a sweet liquid, which is especially attractive to ants.
A parasite of larvae appears, their insect lays in the fall. In spring young individuals hatch. Eggs and larvae can be located not only on the plant itself, but also in the ground. Due to the meager size (less than 2 millimeters) they can not be seen. After the appearance of the light, the aphid actively reproduces, and if it is not stopped in time, the struggle against it becomes more complex many times.
One female lays 100-140 eggs at a time.
On tomatoes, the most common 4 types of aphids:
White aphid has a translucent body with a pinkish sheen, often lives in the ground. Potato aphid is painted in a light green color, attacks tomatoes that are grown in open ground. Peach is dangerous for tomatoes that are grown in the garden with fruit trees. Gourd variety - the smallest representative with a body length of not more than 2 millimeters, appears in early summer, most often with greenhouse cultivation.
The most common cause of aphids is contaminated land and diseased plants growing near tomatoes. If the spring before planting did not cultivate the land with fungicidal and insecticidal additives, then the risk of infection by the pest increases significantly. If the site is inhabited by ants, it provokes the emergence of aphids, as they are considered to be peddlers.
High humidity, stagnant soil and warm ambient temperatures are factors that contribute to creating comfortable conditions for the existence and reproduction of insects. Most often aphid overcomes greenhouse seedlings.
The lesion is young shoots, tomato flower stalks, buds. Most often, a plant that is affected by a pest cannot form ovaries. The leaves begin to thin and twist. Buds immediately fall off, not even blooming. As a result, the growth and development of seedlings instantly stop, and the fruiting does not occur.
Leaves may have yellow veined spots, photosynthesis is disturbed. Fungal microorganisms and molds form on the leaf plates. Sometimes aphids can form galls - a tumor that turns into an ulcer, which is fatal to the plant.
At the initial stage, aphids are almost impossible to notice. Then every day, especially in the spring-summer period, the following developmental deviations are observed in infected tomato bushes:
- the appearance of sticky sweet spots on the leaves and stem;
- leaf curling;
- bud fall;
- the appearance of a large number of ants on the site;
Then, when the plant is already attacking the plant, it can already be seen in the constantly flying midges near the seedlings. On the reverse side of the leaves and on the stem, the pest can lay eggs, which can be clearly seen: small bubbles of gray or dark color densely inhabit the leaf surface.
Ways to fight
There are many effective methods of dealing with adversity. Most of them lead to the complete destruction of insects. There are three main ones:
- Physical - the most time-consuming method, which involves a visual inspection of every millimeter of the plant and the removal of larvae and eggs manually. You can use the irrigation of tomatoes from a hose, under a stream of water simply wash the larvae and insects from the bushes.
- Chemical - the method is based on the chemical effect on parasites, leading to their complete extermination. Insecticides are most often used, but they can be replaced with folk remedies. The composition includes toxic substances that cause the death of insects.
- The biological method involves the creation of natural selection. Attract to the garden of birds that eat aphids. Ladybugs contribute to the eradication of parasites, they are placed on the site and left to multiply.
The substances possessing an active chemical action include malathion. It represents an emulsion with a specific odor, which is diluted with water in the proportion of 30 grams of the drug per 10 liters of water. Pour the solution into the ground in the morning, then repeat the treatment after a week. It is better to use the tool before flowering, as it can later have a toxic effect on the fruit.
Another chemical used to combat aphids is bleach. Prepare a working solution:
- 2 tbsp. bleach powder;
- 10 liters of water.
Put on the affected shoots and leaves. Spraying should start with the lower shoots, and then climb up. You can pour a mixture of soil around the bushes, the effect will only intensify. Bleach is desirable to use before the formation of ovaries.
Other insecticides should be used in accordance with the instructions on the package. The dilution of the substance is carried out with gloves in order not to get a chemical burn or an allergic reaction of the skin.
All treatment with insecticides carried out no more than 2-3 times.
Traditional methods of struggle praise for high efficiency and natural origin. Supplements cooked at home according to recipes do not poison the future crop and shoots, but at the same time destroy pests.
Prepare an ash-soap solution:
- glass ash stove;
- 2 tbsp. grated household soap;
- 10 liters of water.
Mix all the ingredients and put on the shoots in dry weather, in the evening. Treatment with soap and water solution is carried out again after 5-7 days after the first time.
Herbal decoction helps to get rid of aphids once and for all. For its preparation you will need:
- grass (wormwood, dandelions, tops) - 0.5 kg;
- 10 liters of water.
- st.l. crushed soap.
The grass is soaked in hot water and insisted for 3-4 days. Then the soap is dissolved in the resulting mixture, filtered and a tomato bush is sprayed with a liquid solution.
The smell of tobacco repels insects, this property can be used and prepare another effective additive, take:
- 300 grams of tobacco crumbs;
- litere of water.
Soak the baby in water and boil the contents for at least half an hour. The broth is cooled and filtered through cheesecloth. The resulting mixture irrigated tomato bushes and watered the soil near the trunk. For a lasting effect, add a tablespoon of soap to the mixture.
In order not to deal with dangerous pests, it is necessary to take appropriate measures even before the start of seedling cultivation. They consist in preventive cultivation of the land.Before planting tomatoes, dig up the ground and shed a solution of any fungicidal agent. Only after that they start planting tomatoes.
In between the rows or along the perimeter of the ridge are planted odorous plants. This may be onions, garlic, thyme, calendula, chamomile. Strong odors scare away insects and make tomatoes for aphids unattractive.
When the seedlings are planted, carry out its preventive processing. An infusion of onions is suitable: the husks from 3-4 bulbs are steamed in 2 liters of water and irrigated with a solution of tomato bushes in late May and early June.
In the onion decoction, you can add a couple of crystals of potassium permanganate.
They monitor the correctness of fertilizing, do not abuse irrigation and nitrogen fertilizers. Water strictly as the land dries, and nitrogen supplement is used only after transplanting tomatoes in the greenhouse or on the street. After feeding and watering, the soil is well loosened, and in the greenhouse the vents and doors are opened to reduce humidity.
To prevent tomatoes from aphids is not so difficult, in contrast to the further struggle with it. Insect can be a real panacea for the inaction of the gardener and destroy not only tomatoes, but the entire crop grown in the garden. The earlier actions are taken to kill insects, the greater the likelihood that the aphid will not affect the quality of future tomatoes.