How to get rid of Ants from Tomatillo Plant? (More Common Problems and their Solutions)

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How to get rid of Ants from Tomatillo Plant? In comparison to other vegetables, tomatillos are rather hardy plants that are less susceptible to disease and pests. However, stressed, unhealthy, or tomatillos grown in extremely damp environments are more prone to illness and pests.

Always make sure your tomatillos have adequate space to grow, are well-watered, and have the nutrients they need to be robust and healthy. Your tomatillo plants will be considerably hardier and survive for a much longer period even if you might still run into some issues.

A zucchini plant that is entirely covered in powdery mildew but is still producing a ton of zucchinis is a good example from this year’s crop. You can (and should) call your local agricultural extension if you can’t figure out the source of a problem or you’re dealing with a very bad infestation.

You can look for the address of your nearest extension office here. Extensions are a fantastic resource since they are staffed with experts who are familiar with local practices for growing fruits and vegetables.

Common Issues and Solutions Affecting Tomatillo Plants – How to get rid of Ants from Tomatillo Plant?

1. Potato Beetles

Potato beetles can quickly take over tomatillo plants. The reason for the name of these insects is that they prefer to eat tomatillos but also attack potato plants.

Potato beetles feature stripes running lengthwise, are about 1/4 inch long, and range in color from orange to yellow. Tomatillos can be consumed by all potato bugs, but the three-lined potato beetle likes them the most.

How to prevent potato bugs from attacking tomatillos?

Early in the season, non-insecticide measures—primarily insect netting or row coverings to keep potato beetles off the tomatillos—work best. You can also manually pick off individual beetles if your infestation is small. There are natural insecticides that work on potato bugs if you have an infestation.

Another organic option is neem oil. Neem oil, which is obtained from the neem plant, is a powerful insecticide when diluted with water. Neem oil disrupts the hormones of the insects, causing them to feed less and eventually die off.

Utilizing diatomaceous earth is an additional organic choice. This is a diatom-based white powder that has been crushed. The main purpose of it is to eradicate adult potato beetles.

To know more about the plant world, you may also read related articles, Insect/ Bug Eggs that look like Seeds (& How to get rid of them?)

2. Flea Beetles

It’s conceivable you have flea beetles if you’ve ever spotted tiny holes on the leaves of your tomatillos that seem like they were made by a miniature shotgun being used to hunt bugs. Flea beetles are tiny, glossy, black insects that, when startled, bounce around erratically. They consume the leaves of a variety of plants, but in my experience, tomatillos, ground cherries, and tomatoes are their favorites.

The larvae of flea beetles burrow into the soil to feed on the roots while the adults consume the leaves after laying their eggs at the base of the plant.

The bottom leaves of mature tomatillo plants are typically the most severely damaged, but seedlings and smaller bush-type tomatillos kinds can also suffer catastrophic damage.

How to get rid of flea beetles on tomatillos?

For mature tomatillo plants, flea beetles are frequently not a major issue, but you can manage them in a manner that is quite similar to how you manage three-lined potato bugs. Before flea beetles appear, use physical preventatives such as small-meshed insect netting. 

To control adults, spray diluted neem oil or insecticidal soap containing pyrethrins on the top and bottom of the leaves. Spraying the plant’s base will aid in controlling larvae and eggs. If you choose to use diatomaceous earth, sprinkle it on the leaves and branches but not on the flowers.

3. Aphids

Aphids, which can be found on the stems, branches, and bases of leaves, are tiny, frequently green insects that feed on the sap of your plants. They have an impact on numerous plant species, including tomatillos.

Large infestations can severely damage or even kill tomatillos, although little infestations are frequently ignored or easily controlled. On rare occasions, you might see ants moving over the plants alongside your aphids.

Ants and aphids can form a cooperative partnership in which the ants protect the aphids from predators and the aphids’ sweet sap is harvested. Check carefully for aphids if you notice ants on your tomatillos because they might be difficult to identify and blend in.

How to get rid of aphids on tomatillos?

Although one of the simplest pests to manage, aphid infestations can be difficult to handle. Spraying the aphids with a powerful jet of water to remove them is one physical control approach. The aphids will wash away, and as they are sluggish crawlers, they frequently can’t find their way back to the plant and end up dying.

Spreading petroleum jelly over the stem base is another practical way to get rid of aphids.

Neem oil or insecticidal soap with pyrethrins are other options for controlling aphids. Some gardeners even simply suffocate the aphids with a solution of water, oil, and a few drops of dish soap. Since aphids have soft bodies, diatomaceous earth doesn’t act as well on them.

4. Leaf Miners

Your tomatillo plants probably have leaf miners if you notice squiggly pale lines on the leaves. Because their larvae burrow within the leaf and consume it from within, leaf miners are a diverse category of insects that harm various plants.

Leaf miners are largely safe from predators since they are inside the leaves. Unfortunately, that also means that organic (or inorganic) insecticides have less of an effect on them. Fortunately, unless you have a huge infestation or they start targeting small, young plants, leaf miners are typically not a serious pest for tomatillos.

On the underside of the leaves, leaf miners cluster their eggs for hatching. Leaf miners are easily controlled by removing the eggs and keeping an eye on your plants frequently.

How to get rid of Leaf Miners on tomatillos?

The easiest way to deal with leaf miners once they are present is to either remove the impacted leaves or squeeze the impacted leaf between your fingers to kill the larva within.

If you see leaf miners, you should also look beneath the leaves for clumps of minuscule white eggs. To stop leaf miners, remove them by hand before the eggs develop.

Although neem oil and pyrethrins are both effective on insect eggs, leaf miner larvae are safe from insecticides inside the leaves. If leaf miners are a persistent issue, either can be applied to the underside of leaves to control them.

5. Hornworms

One of the less frequent but most destructive tomatillo pests is the hornworm. They are the hawkmoth’s caterpillars. They can harm all nightshades, including tomatillos, albeit they prefer other nightshades like tobacco and tomato plants.

Defoliation (totally eaten leaves) and dark green caterpillar feces that has fallen on the leaves and branches are signs of potential hornworm damage.

These green caterpillars grow to a height of several inches fairly quickly. A tomatillo plant can be completely defoliated by full-sized hornworms in a matter of days.

How to get rid of Hornworms on tomatillos?

Hornworms are resistant to natural insecticides like pyrethrins and neem oil, but you may simply control them by personally inspecting and removing them from your tomatillo plants.

Use a UV blacklight to look for hornworms after dark if you’re having trouble finding them because they’re blending in with your tomatillos. They are easily removed from the plant and glow when exposed to UV light.

Conclusion

The nightshade (Solanaceae) family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, ground cherries, and peppers, includes tomatillos. Tomatillos are thus susceptible to the same pests that attack other nightshades. Some, nevertheless, have a stronger attraction to tomatillos or are extremely corrosive.

Unless you are growing tomatillos in an extremely humid environment, you may go a whole season without any infections. Nevertheless, sickly tomatillo plants are more prone to illness, and they are still susceptible to illnesses that affect other nightshade plants.

Thanks for reading! Happy gardening! 

Angie Scott