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Old July 23, 2009   #1
Gamebucketman
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Default Cockroaches eating my tomatoes!

So I have had a problem with big holes eaten out of most of my tomatoes lately. I have been thinking mice or worms or something.
So tonight I went out with my flashlight and there are cockroaches and even some crickets eating my tomatoes! I couldn't believe it you could even hear them munching.
Has anyone had this problem (or even heard of it)? What should I do I find this to be pretty gross to the point I just want to douse everything in gasoline and cleanse it all with fire!
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Old July 23, 2009   #2
veggie babe
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now you have me thinking I should check my tomatoes during the night. I have lost several (of the largest toms) to something eating wholes in the green tomatoes. I assumed it was grasshoppers, I've seen some lately when I'm in the garden in the early morning.
I have no idea what to do. I am not using chemicals this year so I would prefer a green answer that won't harm my frogs, bees and birds. Maybe someone can help us.

neva
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Old July 23, 2009   #3
organichris
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Maybe a good pepper spray would do the trick. They're pretty easy to make. You can find recipes on the internet or just make up your own. No chemicals needed. And if you really need a more potent organic insecticide you can make a spray from tobacco. I would advise against it if at all possible, though. Its quite poisonous.
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Old July 23, 2009   #4
Gamebucketman
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They seem to leave any green ones alone and not eat them till they're a bit ripe so veggie babe yours may not be the same culprit. I have started picking them the instant they start ripening a bit and that has kept them from getting them.
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Old July 23, 2009   #5
Dewayne mater
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Veggie Babe: BT is considered organic by most and will help with some things like fruit worms, which tend to eat the green maters. One spray ended that problem for me this year.

I don't think that would work on cockroaches. Could they be a stinkbug? I've never heard of roaches eating maters, but then again, we just have waterbugs that we call roaches round here, so I don't know what a true cockroach dines on.
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Old July 23, 2009   #6
dice
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Kind of a general rather than specific solution, but I would
guess that one could make a pretty good insecticide by
soaking velvet beans in water. (The water will contain L-Dopa,
which seems to be a fairly effective insect repellent/poison.)

http://belize1.com/BzLibrary/trust455.html

There is a lot of information there about velvet beans as
a (rather questionable) food, the bit about the L-Dopa and
insects was just a detail that happened to be mentioned.
The fact that it appears to be water soluble is interesting,
though (makes it cheap and easy to make a velvet bean
extract for spraying plants that have insect problems).

You would have to wash your fruit before eating it, but then
anyone that sprays their plants with anything should be
doing that.

There is a wild velvet bean that grows in the SE US, and
one can order an Amazonian version here (note the warning
on the toxic hairs; a "harvest with gloves and long sleeves"
item, most likely, and one may want to avoid growing it in
yards frequented by small children):

http://www.seedman.com/vine.htm
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Old July 25, 2009   #7
Fert1
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Yes, cockroaches will eat tomatoes. I've caught them nibbling at mine. It's usually late in the season, and it's those big outdoor roaches that a lot of people call water bugs or palmetto bugs. I think the actual name is wood cockroach or something to that effect. A roach by any other name is still just as disgusting though.

It's usually late in the season, when the plants have grown so tall that branches are lying on the floor of the deck. In other words, they go after tomatoes that are easily reached. They don't seem to want to climb the tomato plants, or at least mine don't. Maybe I have lazy roaches. LOL!
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Old July 26, 2009   #8
veggie babe
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Thank you all for responding. Silly me, I have pepper and garlic solution already mixed and didn't try that. I will spray in the morning. The insect that eats on my green tomatoes actually eat the ones up on the top of the plants more than at the bottom. I will let you know the outcome.

thanks,

neva
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Old July 26, 2009   #9
Fert1
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It's the the tomatoes at the tops of my plants too, the plants that grew up from the ground all the way to the top of my deck. You see, I tend to put my plants in the ground in front of, (below), my deck. The deck is a good bit above ground level. They seem to go for the ones easiest reached, although if there were none easily reached, they might do otherwise.
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