Insect identification and scouting
Always identify insects correctly and decide if they are beneficial or pests before making a treatment decision. Seek the help of a regional Extension agent or send samples to the Pest Diagnostic Lab in Auburn or Birmingham. Readers are encouraged to subscribe to the Alabama IPM Communicator newsletter for additional resources.
The following insects are major pests of tomatoes. The insect name, plant injury, sampling method and economic threshold (ET) are given for each pest. Economic threshold is the number of insects above which there will be economic losses.
- Flea Beetle
- Colorado Potato Beetle
- Tomato Fruit Worm
- Stink Bug
- Leaffooted Bug
- Cabbage Looper
- Wire Worm
The Plant Diagnostic Lab provides three major services:
- Plant samples are examined for disease, insect, nutrient, cultural, and herbicide problems.
- Soil samples are analyzed for plant parasitic nematodes.
- Insect samples are identified.
In addition to the above, plant and fungal identifications are also made. After samples are examined, tested, analyzed, and/or identified, Extension Specialists respond with the diagnosis or identification and control recommendation(s). Samples received at the Plant Diagnostic Lab may be examined by plant pathologists, nematologists, entomologists, agronomists, horticulturists, or weed scientists, depending upon the sample. Responses are sent by phone, e-mail, fax, or letter. Generally, our responses are made within one week from the time of sample receipt. Some tests and /analyses require more time. Before sending samples to the lab, consult our publications for more information on the lab and for directions on collecting, packaging and mailing plant, soil, and insect samples (ANR-0450 and ANR-0114) Also, examine and download our plant (ANR-0089), soil nematode (ANR-00F7), and/or insect forms as appropriate. Fill out the form for your sample with as much information as possible. When inadequate samples are sent with inadequate information, diagnoses and analyses and recommendations cannot be made.