How to Get Rid of Tomato Plant Pests


Tomato plants are popular with home gardeners because they are easy to grow, produce healthy, sweet fruit and offer a wide variety of plant choices, from small cherry tomatoes to the much larger beefsteak tomato. Unfortunately, these plants are just as popular with many insect pests. Beetles, aphids and worms all will attack your tomato plants if given the chance. By getting rid of tomato plant pests as soon as you see them you will be rewarded with luscious fruit.

Step 1

Clear out the area around your tomato plant. Remove dead foliage or weeds, as both of these things can harbor insect pests.

Step 2

Examine the plant closely and try to determine the type of insect that is on the tomato plant. Use the link provided in the resource section, which contains a photo library, to help you identify the pest.

Step 3

Pluck or scrape off (use your fingernail) any large beetles or worms on the tomato plant. Toss the pests into a bucket of soapy water to drown them.

Step 4

Remove smaller pests, such as aphids, with a powerful stream of water; or spray the tomato plant with soapy water, which will suffocate the pests.

Step 5

Introduce ladybugs to your tomato plants. They will not harm the plant, but they will consume smaller, more damaging insects.

Tips and Warnings

  • Insecticides can also kill beneficial bugs, so use an insecticide to kill pests on your tomato plant only as a last resort.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket of soapy water
  • Spray bottle filled with soapy water
  • Ladybugs
  • Insecticide (optional)


  • University of Illinois: Common Problems (Tomatoes)
  • Clemson University: Tomato Insect Pests

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association's pest control library
Keywords: how get rid of, tomato plant pests, insects on tomatoes

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.