White Eggs on Top of Tomato Leaf

MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZMay 13, 2014

Any idea on what this is? My research shows most eggs are laid on the underside. Tomatoes are experiencing something taking a bite out of them. It starts with a dual prick, like a snake bite, then it enlarges as the critter dines.

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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Dialed in a bit closer.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:05AM
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I don't think those are eggs. More likely some kind of damage. No idea if disease, crawler, or critter

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:14AM
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Holes in the leaf! Definitely some insect has been dining on your tomatoes!

Take a look around and see if you can ID the perp!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:55AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Thanks folks. Yes, something IS eating them. At first i thought it was milkweed bugs, which are the only critters I've seen in the bed. But someone on another board says she has tons of milkweed bugs and tomatoes with no damage. So now I'm wondering if it's a worm of some kind. I don't see hornworm type of damage but the plants are losing the lower branches at an alarming rate. Leaves curl, then turn brown. I've read other posts here about similar complaints but don't think I'm over watering as I use a water meter and wait for the soil to be close to dry.

I'll post some pics. This first one is a good example of the 'snake bite', which is usually the first hit. Then the critter proceeds to enlarge the area and begin its feast. Then I'll post some of the leaf branches. If I get another 'snake bite', I'll get a better picture but I've either cut up and used when damage was small or the others went into the compost. ANY help is greatly appreciated.

This post was edited by marymcp on Tue, May 13, 14 at 10:44

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:33AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ


    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:34AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

One more.......

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:35AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Ok gotta ask since it isn't clear from your post and pic. Title says white eggs - post discusses holes.

Are those white things on top of the leaf as you post title indicates. Or are they holes in the leaf with the white background showing through?

IF it is white stuff on top of the leaves as it looks like to me then it is scale.

But if it is actual holes despite the title of the post then the most likely culprit this time of year is flea beetles or little tiny green caterpillars that will grow into hornworms.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:42AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Dave, Those are not holes, I thought they were eggs but can find no more. I just posted a better picture of the 'snake bite' in my recent post.

It IS white stuff on top of the leaves so maybe it's scale. Does the white stuff have anything to do with the 'snake bite' and other damage?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:47AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

If the white stuff was some kind of deposit you should be able to scrapes it off with a sharp edge. If not, it is just marks left by some insect.
Then if there was just a single leaf being affected, there shouldn't be a cause for concern. I would remove and destroy it.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:03PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Thanks seysonn. I did remove the one branch, maybe that's all it was as I've not seen anymore of that. I'm thinking maybe it's curly top virus on plants. Has anyone here tried successfully to cure curly top, say with neem oil? or should I just pull these plants as the best cure? Thanks for any input, it's appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:22AM
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Last year I had a tomato worm on my tomatyo plants. Normally, I just squash the critter and move on. In this case I noticed that the tomato worm had some white eggs appended to its back. I decided to leave it alone and observe. The eggs hatched and the larva of a wasp consumed the worm over about a week. Nature is so interesting!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:27AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Apparently we have two totally different issues discussed here - actually 3.

The first set of two photos with the white spots was what I was addressing above. At hat time I was posting the others pics of the branches and leaves had not been posted.

So nothing that shows in your first 2 photos has anything to do with CTV so no, there is no need to pull the plants based on those pics. and no CTV cannot be "cured" either with neem or anything else. Plants, once infected with it, do not recover.

Now the second issue and photos of the branches and leaves (again a totally different issue) might be CTV as the small mis-shaped leaves and the bronzing color is apparent. Can't tell if the undersides are the dark purple of CTV or not. But the important question is have you actually seen any leaf hoppers?

But it could also be nutrient deficiency and, since leaf hoppers are not nearly the problem in CA as they are in the Eastern half of the US and the deep south, if I had to put money on it that is what I would bet on rather than CTV.

48 hours will tell as if CTV the plants will be dead or clearly dying. Pulling them is up to you. If you still have plants not showing symptoms then yes, I'd probably pull the really bad ones and hope to save the others by feeding them well - have no info available on your fertilization regimen.

However please understand that IF it is CTV then they too are probably already infected.

The only control for CTV is preventing leaf hoppers access to the plants in the first place and that means growing under cover or using strong pesticides that are effective against them. Unfortunately by the time Neem kills them they have already infected the plant.

The last pic - the tomato with the holes - I can think of at least 10 different things that could cause such holes but none of them are leaf hoppers or related to CTV. Birds, tomato worms, baby hornworms, any of the leaffooted bug family, hail, many different beetles, any bug with a proboscis, a falling stick from a tree, etc. I wouldn't worry about them.

Hope this is of some help.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:57PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Hi Dave - yes, I agree that more than one thing is going on with this year's tomato crop. This thread has morphed into one item after another as the issues presented.

have you actually seen any leaf hoppers? The only bug I have actually seen is the milkweed bug. I've covered all ripening fruit with cheesecloth, netting or pantyhose pieces to prevent the biting problem.

Re the leaf problems, I am now leaning toward fusarium or verticillium wilt. The plants are heirlooms and therefore not resistant. In talking with other gardeners in my locale (Phoenix AZ) there is consensus that as the temps come up, they too experience this behavior in their tomato plants. Looks like I'll be shopping for tomatoes at the farmer's markets this summer.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to post to this rambling thread. I'll switch to hybrids in future ones labeled V and F resistant. It's my understanding that all I can do at this point is pull the plants and avoid solanaceous crops for several years. Jeez, what a let down.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:31AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I'm just always curious why folks so quickly jump to the worst-case disease conclusions when it comes to tomato problems?

When the odds are so heavily weighted on the side of the majority of problems being just growing condition issues that can be fixed, why assume it is one of the far more rare and terminal viral diseases? Especially since the symptoms are so vague and could easily be caused by several other things.

And it has nothing to do with heirlooms vs. hybrids. IF you actually have V or F wilt in your soil, and that is a big IF, then hybrid resistance is minimal at best and the degree of resistance all depends on which of the 3 strains you have.

Your choice but why not first find out what is really wrong with your plants? Contact the county AG extension office, ask if those diseases are even present in your area much less common, have the plants tested, have your soil tested. Then you'll know where you really stand rather than just guessing.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:27PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Hail? I'm in Phoenix AZ - in May. A falling stick from a tree? Not that symmetrical repeatedly. Jeez, you think I'm stupid or what?

This problem presented in the last two weeks. If I had the time to take away from my business to go get a soil sample tested, I would not need to ask for advice from a gardening forum.

Gee whiz, now I remember why I stopped coming over to this forum. It's that sanctimonious attitude. Excuuuuuse me Dave. and good bye.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:13PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Whoa! Sanctimonious? Was merely talking in generalities of what can cause such injuries and conditions such as in your pics and why people always assume it is a terrible disease rather than something that can be fixed.

All I knew was you are in zone 9, not specific location, and yes there are hail storms and falling sticks all over zone 9. Likely some even in Phoenix AZ.

But then that wasn't even the point.

You asked, I answered with what I hoped were some helpful suggestions to consider. But if you'd rather assume the worst about both me and your plants that's your choice.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:36PM
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