This year has been really bad for stink bugs on my tomatoes. The tomatoes at the Farmer’s Markets are all afflicted with cloudy spot, so I’m not alone. I’ve tried Safer Insecticidal Soap, which doesn’t phase them (it does help with the leaf-footed bugs). By now, the stink bugs are huge and have become somewhat evil. I knock them off, hoping to step on them, and they fly at me. I talked with several farmer’s yesterday about their methods of battling stink bugs. Larry at Boggy Creek Farm uses two methods – the most productive is torching them. Apparently he has a way of torching them without burning the tomato plants down. The method he recommended to me is pulling them off and plunging them in a bucket of soapy water with olive oil. He said this method will not do much to get rid of them, but at least I’ll get the shear pleasure of watching them drown. Springdale Farm also uses the torch method, with less effectiveness. Yesterday at the Triangle Market, there was one farm with no cloudy spot on their tomatoes, Engel Farms. I asked Chris how their tomatoes looked so perfect, and he said they treat the plants with Neem Oil and Mineral Oil. My friend Stephanie also uses Neem Oil and says it works well. So, now I know what to do. Buy a torch and some Neem Oil.
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