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!

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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.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:49AM
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jessie226

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
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srburk

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
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jessie226

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
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jessie226

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
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Aphids.

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

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 12:29AM
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jessie226

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
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jessie226

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
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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
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jdellerba_gmail_com

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
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runner1212

Ladybugs are you best friend :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 8:18PM
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ptcanino_rochester_rr_com

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
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bettyj_murphy_comcast_net

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
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