Who's been eating my tomatillos?

topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)June 21, 2012

Last year some nasty bugs spoiled all my tomatillos...they hide in the husks so I never say any bugs, just eaten up fruit. I want to head them of at the pass this year, but who are they? I try to be all organic, but I don't know how to handle this. Any suggestions please?

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new_b_gardener(8a)

Well from what I have read it might be a Horn worm. they eat tomatoes and tomatillos. It could be a bird also. I have read about people having trouble with birds eating them, but I am not too sure on it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 1:22PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

A fruit eating pest that can hide in the husk itself could be any one of a number of small pests such as ants or small beetles. But honestly tomatillo pests are rare.

Potato beetles will go after them if nothing else is available and so will striped and spotted cuke beetles. Mexican bean beetles have been reported in a few cases although I have never had them bother mine. But the beetles tend to damage the leaves and the husks rather than the fruit itself.

There there are tomato fruit worms (hornworms are 3-4" so not husk-hiding size) that can do some damage but the type of damage they do is very specific to both the husk and the fruit - a round puncture hole in the husk and the fruit.

So you are going to have to do some serious plant exploring and eyeballing and open some husks to determine exactly what the culprit is. Meanwhile some questions to consider.

Is the husk still intact, still green, but there is no fruit at all left inside? Or is there damage to the husk as well as the fruit? Is the fruit only partially eaten? If so can you describe the damage in detail?

Dave

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 2:21PM
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topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)

Husk still intact, but fruit holey with black poo looking stuff...sometimes fruit falls off and husk is empty. If I did spray something, how would I get it INTO the husk? Maybe I should just forget tomatillos. ;-(

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:12PM
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