Tomato Plant Pests Kill the Leaves
I have a very specific problem with my tomato plants and it has affected virtually all of them. This is a problem that I have every year and cannot find any info on the topic.
After having a nice couple months of growth and my first batch of tomatoes I start to see tiny, uniform, pinhole sized black spots on the leaves and sometimes the stems of my plants. They eventually curl up and die. This is absolutely not a fungus but is instead caused by a bug. I have no idea what this bug is and cannot find any information on it. But is is insidious and very hard to control. Organic soap spray does not seem to control them.
The bugs are not aphids, I know the difference. They are about a millimeter or so long. They have wings, although they don't fly very much. They tend to hang out on the underside of the leaves, but will scurry to the top if I try to kill them. I can smash them pretty easily between my fingers, but after smashing 50 of them for 15 minutes spent on one plant, I can always still spot more. They are everywhere.
Wherever they are on the plant I find these tiny black spots on the leaves and some of the young branches. They aren't solitary, but they don't really congregate all together either. They seem to give each other space. They are grayish in color, kind of like gnats.
I hate these bugs, they make me want to pull my hair out. I cannot seem to get rid of them. They attack all of my tomato plants, regardless of age or type. They do not attack any of my other plants, peppers, squash, herbs and spices, etc. No one seems to know what these are, which blows my mind, because they are the nastiest pests I have ever faced and I've been dealing with them for 5 years. I may just give up on tomatoes altogether if I can't figure this out.