Little black flying bugs on leaves

jessie226June 8, 2007

I live in Massachusetts, I have little tiny, oblong shaped flying black bugs all over my tomato plant. It's a cherry tomato plant in a large pot and I've only had it about a month, it's about a foot tall. They might be whiteflies, but I'm not sure. I don't have a pic yet, I won't be able to get one until later tonight. I really don't want to lose my plant, is there anything I can do? We might have had the same bugs on my basil last year and it didn't make it. They might be making silk of some kind, it's hard to tell. I've read back a few pages on this forum but didn't see anything with the same bugs I have. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Check out Flea Beetles:

Flea Beetles

Also review: Tomato Insect Pests

Aphids are common but it doesn't sound like them from your description. Whiteflies are white and yellow and a search here will find you many discussions and photos of them. Spidermites are red with black spots but might be worth checking out since you mention "silk".

Hope this helps. Good luck.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for your help, but they don't look like any of those. They're not flea beetles, my bugs have very distinct wings, and they're not on that Tomato Insect Pests link, and I don't even think they're whiteflies anymore cause they're black, not white or yellow and don't look anything like any pictures of whiteflies I've found. They also don't look anything like spidermites, and they're definitely not aphids :( I don't know what they could be.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you notice any trails on the leaves of your plant? Could be the bug responsible for the larvae called a leaf miner?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'll have to take a closer look, but I don't think so. They don't look like the pictures of leaf miners. The closest thing I have found is Fungus Gnats, could those be them?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okey dokey I got some pics. The first two are of what I'm guessing are the adults, hope they are clear enough. The last one is the underside of the leaf, there are lots of black 'spots' that are too small to really see. For all I know it's larvae of some kind, or the bug's poop. And there is definitely a silk like substance on a lot of the leaves. In the first pic you can see some of it off to the right.

I got a spray insecticide. It's called Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap. I sprayed it on all the leaves and the undersides.
Thanks for all your help :) I really hope this works. Any ideas on what they are, and suggestions on getting rid of them, is very much appreciated :)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jean001(z8aPortland, OR)


Squish 'em. If you use insecticidal soap, make certain the spray hits the aphid.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For real? I didn't know aphids have wings...
The spray seems to have killed most of them, I'm gonna spray every couple of days until they're all gone.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 7:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Holy aphids you're right! Just did a google, I should have trusted you! =P They are winged aphids. Damn and I just found a lady bug in the car yesterday and I let it fly away! Oh well. I'm just relieved they're not whiteflies. Aphids seem much more managable.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 7:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gavia_immer(z6 MA)

Jesse, how is the spray working out for you? I just discovered winged aphids all over my plants. Ack!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I too am having a problem with little black flying insects on my container tomato plants. I just noticed them for the first time today, but I have been watering at night after it has cooled and is dark. The mini-flies are only in the soil, not on any of the leaves. They are just bouncing around. Are these too black flying aphids? Could I have developed an insect from daily watering? My plants seem to need to be watered daily and both have flourished. Please help!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 11:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ladybugs are you best friend :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What causes these bugs to come back every year? Is there something that can be done to prevent them from returning

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Those little flying bugs are "Black Fly" and suck all the juices from our tomato plants leaving the leaves crusty and dead with stunted growth. I use Sevin bug killer, and dish soap with water. They are HARD to totally remove. You can check web sites for Black Fly on tomato plants for info. Your pictures were excellent!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:23AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Wilting Tomato Plant
I am growing several types of heirloom tomato plants...
Tomato Leaves Turning Blackish
I planted my tomatoes from seeds two months ago. They...
Aphids and mosaic virus!!
I only have 2-3 aphids on my seedlings... The next...
P.Brandywine bumpy soft ,green curling leaves
Firstly, I'm a raw newbie. Please forgive any faux...
Yellow spots on leaves
Hi, I have several tomato plants that I started as...
Sponsored Products
P3878-80: Calven Forged Black Three-Light Foyer Pendant
$229.41 | Bellacor
Esia Oiled Bronze and Glass Swingarm Wall Lamp
Lamps Plus
Italian Brown and Black Vessel Sink
Tom Dixon | Beat Light - Wide
$535.00 | YLighting
Copeland Furniture | Kyoto Armchair
Skygarden Suspension by Flos Lighting
$2,495.00 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™