These unarmored scale insects damage tomatoes by feeding on their plant saps and secreting a sweet concoction known as “honeydew,” which encourages the growth of sooty molds. They also are known to transmit diseases.
Green June beetles are well known and hated by many gardeners; their other aliases are June bugs or June beetles. Though considered pests in both larval and adult stages, the grubs are known to be more destructive in most settings.
Mantises are ambush predators are usually green, brown, or gray in color to camouflage from not only their predators but their prey! Mantises are known for their extra bendy forelimbs that give the appearance that they are praying.
Spider mites are not insects but arachnids (think spiders, scorpions, etc.) that damage plant cells by piercing them to feed. These are VERY SMALL and are often not noticed until their population has exploded.
(Suborder: Caelifera, grasshoppers and relatives)
Grasshoopers generally have wings and large back hopping legs. You can differentiate them from crickets by looking at their antennae—cricket antennae are usually long, since they’re nocturnal insects, so they use those long “feelers” to help with walking around.
Chalcids are parasitoids of several groups of insects including Diptera (flies), Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Coleoptera (beetles), and Hymenoptera (true bugs). Some deposit eggs inside their hosts’ eggs while others attack the nymphs.
Minute Pirate Bugs (Family Anthocoridae) are small Hemipterans that are often used as biological controls. They are very small, 1-5mm, but feed on a wide variety of insect pests. They have elongated bodies covered in wings that are often black and white spotted.
A thrips (no, that’s not a typo—there’s no such thing as a thrip!) is a bizarre, minute insect. They are typically less than 1 mm long with slender bodies, fringed wings and weird lopsided mouth parts.
These caterpillars are the larvae of some moths in the family Noctuidae. They get their name from their behavior of cutting small plants at the base of the stem. Since there are so many species, they come in a variety of colors and patterns, so damage is the best way to identify them.
Soft Scale is a very diverse family of insects so there is often exceptions in physical appearance. Though they may not look like insects, these Hemipterans are related to aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs.
Armored scale insects are known as one of the more frustrating pests and often don’t look like insects at all. These tiny sap-suckers create protective, waterproof coverings to fend off the elements and predators.
Though these wasps can be known for stings, they are not usually aggressive unless they are protecting their nests. They are also not scavengers such as yellow jackets, so they are less likely to aggravate your next picnic. However, they are fantastic pollinators and predators.