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Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

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Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  jymarino on 6/1/2011, 12:05 pm

I haven't aggressively been attacking the pests yet but they seem to be starting. Yesterday I noticed these little pearl like things on some of the tomato leaves. What are these things and how can I best keep them and other pests off my veggies? I am not necessarily going organic since I want to eat my crops and not let these guys eat them. I do know that anything I use should be used in the evening to protect the pollinating insects.

I do know that later in June we will likely have a japanese beetle infestation like last year. Last year I used Sevin quite a bit to get rid of those critters. I know that this year I can cover a lot of crops but a lot will still have blooms. How do I best protect my crops from them and get them pollinated?

Thanks in advance for the help!




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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  dmsandlin on 6/1/2011, 1:52 pm

Looks like an aphid. Hose or flick them off before the infestation gets too far along. I also just squish them with a finger. Don't know about the Sevin dust.
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  jymarino on 6/1/2011, 2:30 pm

The Sevin I used last year was the spray, not the dust. I thought aphids were usually green? I'll do something to get rid of them today, don't need them causing problems.

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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/1/2011, 2:48 pm

The larger pearl like guy looks like a garden spider but hard to tell from your picture. If it has only two body segments and all it's legs come from the "head" body segment it is a spider. Spiders are beneficial and will eat unwanted pests. The little guys, I'm not really sure but they look like insects that would eat plants or suck nectar. (probably what the spider, if it's a spider, is stalking for dinner). Spiders and insects molt several times throughout their lives as they grow. They are often white or translucent eminently after molting.


I might have enjoyed entomology too much in college ;o)
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  HPartin on 6/1/2011, 3:50 pm

I wish I could see if "Pearl" had 6 or 8 legs. If it is a spider it will have 8, if not a spider it will have 6. I am an odd one: I pick up spider and introduce them to my garden. I dont think we can have too much spiders--as long as they don't bite. Twisted Evil

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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/1/2011, 4:05 pm

@HPartin wrote:I wish I could see if "Pearl" had 6 or 8 legs. If it is a spider it will have 8, if not a spider it will have 6. I am an odd one: I pick up spider and introduce them to my garden. I dont think we can have too much spiders--as long as they don't bite. Twisted Evil

Heidi

Oh great catch Heidi I forgot to talk about number of legs. I wish I was as brave as you and could touch them.... I have to hold in the little girl like scream and walk to other side of the garden and then shake off the willies.
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  camprn on 6/1/2011, 4:07 pm

@HPartin wrote:I am an odd one: I pick up spider and introduce them to my garden. I dont think we can have too much spiders--as long as they don't bite. Twisted Evil

Heidi
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/1/2011, 5:03 pm

Aphids come in several colors I had some on my potatos yesterday. I was catching ladybugs and moving them to the potato patch... If there are too many, I will be using some soap spray this evening.
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  jymarino on 6/1/2011, 5:54 pm

Do you make your own soap spray? If so, how much of each ingredient do you use?

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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/2/2011, 12:33 pm

tsp of Murphy's Oil Soap in a Windex bottle of water.

You must spray directly on the insect.
You can use other plain soaps (not detergents, which is most dish soaps).

I always try to test on a bit of plant to make sure it won't cause a problem.
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  jymarino on 6/2/2011, 12:36 pm

What if I can't actually see the insects? Is there a good preventative I can use?

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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/2/2011, 1:02 pm

There are no easy answers. In another life, I sprayed with Sevin all the time. I stopped after reading about problems with bees. The bees pollinate most of the tomato blossoms.

I used Neem oil last year. I sprayed at dusk, bees aren't active then.

Tomatos will still put out a lot of fruit with some disease/insect damage.

I haven't bought any, but Ladybugs are the natural solution to aphids. They were feasting on aphids when I looked yesterday afternoon. I had a couple of clusters of bugs, and they got a dose of spray...
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/4/2011, 5:35 pm

Oh happy day! I finally got the book "Good Bug Bad Bug" today that I ordered a month ago. Flipping through it I found your big large pearl bug. It's a Aphidius Wasp. It's a beneficial wasp that rid your garden of a bunch of different types of Aphids. Hope you didn't kill them :o)

I just got it out of the mail box and it's being put to use with in minutes, great investment! :o)

EDIT: I should really read more carefully, the large pearl like bug is an aphid that has been parasitized, or mummied by the wasp. The wasp looks like a flying ant kinda.
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  HPartin on 6/4/2011, 5:50 pm

Goodness! I am totally grossed out by that. But awesome find!

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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  CindiLou on 6/4/2011, 9:53 pm

Spiders were nice plants I always thought...Now they are on my naughty list! I got bit three times by one Thursday. Now it itches like heck and has lots of blisters. So much for being nice to them and defending them! NOT my fault it crawled up my pant leg! Hurts like heck too! No
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Re: Help! Weird bugs on tomato plants and possibly others

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/5/2011, 3:57 pm

CindiLou,

Sorry to hear about your spider bite!

Did you get to see the culprit? What did it look like? From your description of the symptoms, it may have been a black widow or brown recluse. Sad

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