many tiny white tissue-paper-fiber-like bugs

philly_gardenerJune 20, 2006

This year is the first year I grow tomatos. I have a Big Beef or a Better Boy. There are green tomatos growing on the branches and I am happy.

Recently I see many tiny white tissue-paper-fiber-like bugs on my tomato leaves, many of them. They seems to be harmless right now. What are they and how should I get rid of them?

Also some leaves near the bottom of my tomato are turning yellow. What should I do to fix it?

Thank you very much!

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I got those too...not sure if they are mites or whatever. You could try washing them off with a stream of water or use a mixture of soapy water (some say use Dawn...others say Ivory). I had a bottle of Safer insecticidal soap that I used...they all look dead now and I washed the plant down good the other morning with water.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 7:22AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Perhaps the cast skins of aphids.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:54AM
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If they are dead -- sort of skeletal and not moving if you touch them, they are probably moulted aphid skins -- in which case you have aphids and the Safer soap routine will get rid of them.

If they have wings and fly away when you poke them, they are probably white flies. Safer soap will help, but so will looking on the underside of the leaves of your plants -- if you see small rings of white powder, that's where white flies are laying their eggs. I gently rub those white rings and any little bug things around them to squish them -- that way you kill the larval and egg stages.

If you have a lot of white flies, putting a yellow sticky card next to your plants may help -- White flies are apparently very attracted to the color yellow and most garden and hardware stores sell sticky cards for them: they are yellow cards, some 4X7" in size covered in a very very sticky stuff that y;ou hang or put on a stick near the plants you want to protect. The adult white flies fly over to the color yellow and try to land and then get stuck on the sticky stuff.

I have one card between each of my tomato plants and between those and gently rubbing off any white circles I see on the plants, I can keep the white flies in check.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 1:54AM
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