DKTomatoJuly 18, 2012

I discovered very small pinworms yesterday on my 2 container tomato plants (big boy and celebrity). I discarded all the affected leaves and sprayed BT. The plants were showing signs of stress the past 3 weeks and I thought it may be early blight coming on - I was wrong. The plants seem to be doing fine at this point and I will continue spraying every 7-10 days.

Before I sprayed the BT, I picked off 15 fruits from the 2 plants. Most of the fruits do not appear to have any damage from the pinworms. I did notice that one of the fruits had a pinworm at the calyx. I cut open two other fruits and there does not appear to be any damage, and there was no sight of worms. My question is: are the fruits safe to eat (assuming there is no visible sign of worms)?

I have another 40 fruits to pick in the coming 2-3 weeks as its been a good growing year so far. Thanks for any advice.

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Here is a picture of the Celebrity - I took it this morning. As you can see, I had to strip off a lot of the bottom leaves.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 4:41PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Are the fruits safe to eat? Yes. They are most likely not pin worms but tomato fruitworms, the larvae of a moth that lays eggs right on the calyx. They hatch there and eventually burrow into the fruit but the entry point is usually pretty obvious. The BT will take care of them.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:31PM
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Thanks for the response Dave. The worms I have are causing significant damage to the leaves. They burrow into the leaf cavity and cause a leaf section to curl - almost making a protective area. At first, the area becomes translucent and eventually the section of the leaf becomes brown. They also leave a black substance in the pouch that they feed in. Does this sound like a fruitworm?

I sprayed BT 48 hours ago but found about 6 worms today burrowed into separate leaves. I will get some photos tomorrow.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:00PM
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Here is a picture of some leaves I cut this morning. You can't see it, but there is a small grey worm in one of the leaves.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:31PM
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