When I first moved here in 2004 I had never heard of a Stink Bug. The following year we started to notice a few large brownish beetle type bugs in the fall. In 2007 we noticed that these bugs were everywhere and by fall they were out of control. Windows could not be opened, the shady side of the house was crawling with them and you had to be extra careful opening a door that none would slip in the house. The papers started printing stories and we found out that they were stink bugs, rapidly becoming the Kudzu of the insect world.
Last year was the first year that I noticed that they were damaging the tomatoes. It was a bad tomato year to begin with and most of my small harvest had to be tossed. This year the winter must have killed a lot of them as they have not been noticeable this summer. I am now finding a few on the tomatoes and tomatoes with heavy foliage cover are showing a lot of damage. Daphne tells me she uses the damaged fruits in tomato sauce. I'm not that brave.
Below is a 'Ramapo OP' tomato showing the stink bug damage. Even though I have tons of tomatoes, I'm not willing to share! I wonder if chickens eat stink bugs...
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