Tomato pest help!

savorytv(4)April 15, 2012

Hello!

I was wondering if anyone could identify this pest on the underside of my tomato leaf and suggest treatment?

Thanks so much!

Heidi

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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

They appear to be rotten little aphids. I think I posted this link somewhere else, but here it is again. Very good info on the critters and how to get them under control.

Here is a link that might be useful: aphids

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:49PM
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savorytv(4)

Thank you tomatofreak!

A couple more questions if you will. So basically applications of a soap and water spray should take care of them or reduce them? Do I need to buy a special "insecticidal soap" or can I make my own with dishsoap and water?

And the link mentions that hot weather kills them, does that mean that they do not exist all summer in PHX?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:51AM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

You can easily make your own insecticidal soap. As the advice in the link specifies, make sure it's soap and not detergent. Wet both sides of all leaves, but especially undersides. Stems, too.

As for heat killing the little rascals, I don't think they got the memo. They do disappear from my vinca, but they seemed to thrive on the sunflowers (a real aphid magnet) all summer long.

Here is a link that might be useful: insecticidal soap recipe

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:54AM
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hellbound

if ur in the phx area aphids are only a temporary inconvenience i just spray them with water once it gets hot they go away anyway i also have a huge colony of ants in my garden that keep them under control by hearding them so they can collect the honeydew

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:20PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Ants 'farm' aphids and from everything I read, keeping the ants from the aphids helps control them. Plus, I hate killing ants, but I don't want them around my plants, either. Nothing's worse than a swarm of angry ants up your pants because you didn't see them. :(

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 2:26PM
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hellbound

the ants do farm them but confine them to a smaller area instead of letting them stread everywhere and their tunnels aerate our crappy rockhard az soil i don't mind a bite here and there by our imported argentine ants they provide a vuluable service to my garden

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 4:34PM
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savorytv(4)

Thanks everyone, very much appreciated!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 11:22PM
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tracydr(9b)

The problem with the ants farming them is that they don't allow the beneficials to do their job.
I don't remember the name of that great movie about bugs that I posted last year but they showed the ants fighting off the beneficials.
I had a horrid aphid infection on southern peas and long beans in the middle of August last summer.
So much for aphids disappearing during the heat. That's about as hot as it gets.
As far as your tomatoes, have you seen any actual bugs or just those white eggs? Because those almost look like thrips to me. Which could be bad because there has been some TSWV in the area this year.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:32AM
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tracydr(9b)

As far as your tomatoes, have you seen any actual bugs or just those white eggs? Because those almost look like thrips to me. Which could be bad because there has been some TSWV in the area this year.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:33AM
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hellbound

really? i usually get a lot of them about this time of year (which btw they're right on time) then i get a huge explosion of lacewings which i'm just now starting to see the ants come in droves followed by those little pink gheckos kind on a whole circle of life thing. i guess now if only i could figure out a predator for those darn tomato worms and last year at the comunity garden we had a huge squash bug infestation but assasin beetle weren't far behind them.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:41AM
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savorytv(4)

Hi Tracydr!

I've seen little white flying buts which I thought were whiteflies? And that's it. It's making tomatoes and they don't look blotchy or disfigured. I hope it's just aphids!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 7:24PM
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tracydr(9b)

The white flying bugs are definitely white flies.
For the tomatoe worms, BT is easy and safe. Just a bacteria that's toxic to caterpillars and nothing else. They eat it and die. It's called dipel.
Aphids and whiteflies, plus russet mites, they're always around and hopefully natural predators will kick in. In the mean time, strong streams of water. If the mites get bad, I use a bit of sulphur dust. For aphids and whiteflies, I'll use some soap ( Murphy's or castille peppermint) in water as a spray. Only at night and never if temperatures during the day are over 90. I'm very careful with sprays because we don't have dew to help remove the sprays before the sun comes out.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:06PM
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savorytv(4)

Thanks Tracy so much! I was looking at the whitefly larvae photos and they definitely look similar. Some of the leaves have been yellowing which may be a result of my erratic watering habits or perhaps the whitefly too. I will pic up some Dr Brommers to make a soap spray tomorrow!

Thanks again,
Heidi

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 2:40AM
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