Leaf-footed bugs are related to stink bugs. They can be distinguished from other types of stink bugs by the leaf-like appendages on their hind legs. Click HERE for more photos and information.
If leaf-footed bugs invade your garden, learn what the eggs and nymphs (babies) look like. Oblong golden-brown eggs are laid in a string-like strand on the midribs of leaves or on the stems of the plant.
Nymphs are orange or reddish brown and will develop the “leaf like” appendages on their hind legs as they mature. It is important not to confuse them with Assassin Bug nymphs, which look similar but are beneficial. Click HERE to read about Assassin Bugs.
Nymphs and adults can be picked off and put in a can of soapy water. Nymphs may be sprayed with a spinosad/soap solution, but this will not control the adults.
Once they mature, the best way to rid your tomatoes of them is to purchase a cordless hand vac (there are ones your rechargeable drill batteries will fit on). Go out at night with a flashlight (I use a headlamp so my hands are free) and vacuum them up! Dump them into a bucket of soapy water before they fly away.
Leaf-footed bugs insert their piercing-sucking mouthparts into the fruit of a tomato to feed. They leave whitish blemishes in the fruit that make the fruit unpalatable. It is important to catch them early or control will be difficult.