Thrips Or Disease Or Both?

lelia(Northern Cal)July 17, 2007

First of all, I know I have thrips because

1. I've seen them

2. I've seen their poop

3. Along the central vein of the affected leaves is a sheen

There are quite a few leaves on a few of my tomatoes (spreading around it seems) that are yellowing. They are all older leaves near the base, and I've been reading about a disease called Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus that is spread by thrips. Can this damage be caused by thrips alone, or is a disease setting in? I'm starting to get worried.

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

The description at Cornell (below) doesn't match your pciture>

"Tomato. Symptoms expressed on leaves, petioles, stems, and fruit will vary, depending on the stage plants are infected. Young leaves may show small, dark-brown spots and eventually die (fig. 11). Dark brown streaks also appear on stems and leaf petioles. Growing tips are usually severely affected with systemic necrosis and greatly stunted growth (fig. 12). The plant may exhibit one-sided growth. Tomato fruit set on severely infected plants will display very characteristic symptoms: immature fruit have mottled, light green rings with raised centers; the unique orange and red discoloration patterns on mature fruits make them unmarketable (fig. 13)."

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell info re Tomato spotted wilt virus

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 12:50AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Lots of info online doesn't match your photos.


From Auburn University

Pictures from Univ Florida

Here is a link that might be useful: TAMU

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 12:56AM
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lelia(Northern Cal)

Thank you, yes I agree that it doesn't resemble Spotted Wilt Virus, but I just couldn't believe that all those yellowing leaves were the result of such teeny-tiny insects. By now, however, I am totally convinced that thrips are responsible for every molecule of damage,and I am happily awaiting a delivery of predatory insects that feed on thrips. I hope the new insects realize what a schmorgasbord they have in my yard and decide to stick around.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 11:08AM
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