What pest is eating my tomato?

hppzz(9)June 5, 2012

Just discovered small holes in my green paul robeson...what type of pest is causing it and what can i do about it? Ideally would love to treat this organically, thanks for all your help!

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It was a caterpillar. It had its snack and left.

If left on the vine, that tomato would have ripened okay. Then, to eat it, you just trim out the hole.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:00PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

For an organic product, you can use BT (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki). It kills caterpillars (though they may munch for a day or so before dying) and won't bother anything else. BT is available in various garden products. [You don't want any BT product that isn't BT kurstaki. The other strains of BT kill other things but don't affect caterpillars.]

(And BT kurstaki kills caterpillars but won't kill caterpillar-like creatures like the pine sawfly larvae currently infesting my dwarf mugo pines; I go on patrol daily. Isopropyl alcohol is marvelous stuff.)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:17PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I agree with the above and most likely suspect IMO would be a tomato fruit worm.

But I will add that others have posted similar pics lately and some folks have suggested bird damage. I have never personally had a problem with birds pecking my fruit but it does make sense to me that a bird could do that type of damage.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:21PM
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hppzz(9)

thanks, everyone, i'm ordering greenlight BT but can't tell if it is BT kurtaski

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UGPSMY/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:17PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Why not just go to the the maker's website (Greenlight) and look it up. It should tell you there since they have to post the MSDA info.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:54PM
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hppzz(9)

thanks, it was such small print, but yes, green light BT is kurstaki

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:59PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Yes, indeed. The clue is that it says "worm killer"

Beyond that, if the hole was due to birds, it would be angular, not round. (Gotta pay attention to the critters' eating patterns,)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 1:01AM
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hppzz(9)

came back to tomatoes again yesterday afternoon and caught it snacking on another! a green worm?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:41AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I believe that's a tomato fruitworm (same as corn earworm). The coloration varies, and the older ones have stripes. Here's a photo of a bunch of them with different coloration:
http://entoplp.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/cornearworm.htm

They mostly make deeper holes, frequently very messy.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:15PM
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