…you know exactly which ones I am talking about. Wretched gangs of orange bugs with black legs, hanging out on your tomatoes, like thugs on a street corners. Reeking havoc, ruining all your hard work…sucking your tomatoes dry…rotten little _______(fill in your own ugly word). I too, am so cursed. I have 2 _______(another ugly word) types at home! Brown stink bugs (on Acorn squash growing in my compost bin) and Leaffooted bugs (on my tomatoes). At 1st I thought they were all Leaffooted bugs, until I caught the adults in the act of making more babies on the squash. The “children” of both look similar.
I found this website https://bugguide.net/node/view/93#life_cycle which has great pictures.
This one has pretty good info. https://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/2D86C691-D443-42DF-B0E3-BF401EBB8117/20143/StinkBugsandLeaffootedBugs.pdf
This one shows the life cycle https://www.google.com/imgres?q=life+cycle+of+a+leaf+footed+bug&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&rlz=1R2DKUS_enUS418&biw=1017&bih=602&tbm=isch&tbnid=lK6Yr2OcW2018M:&imgrefurl=https://www.fbmg.com/Insects/LeafFootedBug.htm&docid=WrQr525DNpAogM&imgurl=https://www.fbmg.com/Insects/Leaf-footed1.jpg&w=641&h=427&ei=gEylT8HbIcGo2wXl1q2mAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=271&vpy=147&dur=1688&hovh=183&hovw=275&tx=139&ty=83&sig=108005126831108693162&page=1&tbnh=122&tbnw=179&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0,i:76
What to do?
Almost anything will kill them after they 1st hatch, including a hard stream of water or a rock. I used liquid pyrethrine( Espoma Earthtone Insect Control Concentrate) which killed them…at 1st. After they molt, they seem to develop a coat of armor (trust me, they were still moving after 3 whacks with a rock). I then took a coffee can with water and soap and placed it under their roosting spots and tapped the plant. When they fell into the water, I watched with a cruel sense of satisfaction as they struggled to get out and then died…their nasty little legs twitching as they sank to the bottom. After they molt again (when they turn brown and grow wings) forget using a rock. Those things learn to fly! It would have been a great video to see me, under the bird netting, freaking out as they flew in my direction. (Note to self, remove bird netting 1st)
Yesterday, we found a healthy colony on the tomatoes here at the nursery. We decided to use Permethrin (Bonide Eight, a hook it up to the hose and go product)…which worked like a charm! Dead bugs everywhere…no bugs in sight today! Good riddance.