I was in the garden this morning, picking produce when i found this little crowd gathered on one of my tomatoes.
This is the nymph of the leaf footed stink bug. After they hatch out, they prefer to hang out in groups, sucking the juices out of tomatoes (their preferred crop) or peppers. Have you ever noticed little, hard white spots on your tomatoes after they've ripened? I've seen them in years past, on the plum tomatoes I was growing. This and the resulting adults are the culprits.
I had invested in a spray bottle earlier in the year, figuring I'd try a good spray of ivory soap solution on most pests before moving on to Bt or some other organic deterrent.
It worked! I kept spraying until they stopped moving. Now the trick will be to stay ahead of Momma Stink bug and destroy her children every time I see them until I can put an end to her and her sisters.
I LOVE square foot gardening. When you follow the system as described by Mel Bartholomew in his book Square Foot Gardening, you are closed to your plants, the plants themselves are closer together, there's hardly any weeding to be done, you can take care of problems quickly - sometimes even finding the bad guys before they have a chance to wreck havoc on your garden. It really is a wonderful system! I have an ambitious 6 - 4' x 4' garden but even few boxes produce a satisfactory harvest.