red/yellow mottled fruit - ripening or disease? (pics)

jessicabauer84(Arkansas 8A)July 12, 2012

Hi Tomato Growers!

I have a question. I notice all the tomatoes I've plucked off the vine have a bit of a mottled red/yellow look. At first I decided it was just the ripening process, since the full ripe color eventually works its way up from the bottom. Today, though, I made the mistake of googling and came across pages that said "destroy entire plant" when mottling is present, indicating spotted wilt? The leaves look fine and the plants seem healthy (other than a few browning spots from the sun and a few stink bugs).

What do you think?

These are Early Girls, but I see this on my Arkansas Travelers as they begin to ripen, too. You can see a few of them in my basket in the last picture. Thanks in advance.

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Deborah-SC(8a)

Looks like stink bug damage to me. Have you seen any babies on them?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 6:37PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I agree with the Deborah. If it is stink bugs, with that much damage you should be seeing them everywhere. Also the shoulders are green......not sure what causes that, but I have green shoulders on some of my tomatoes too. Get rid of the bugs and you should be fine.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:15PM
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jessicabauer84(Arkansas 8A)

Hey everyone. The fact that I'm NOT seeing them everywhere is what's gotten me nervous that it may be something else. Maybe mine are just sneaky? I just went out this evening and squished two, but that's all that I saw.

Would you suggest pyrethrin for stink bugs? Or just a search and destroy approach?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:19PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

For as few as your seeing, search and destroy seems right. But the spots on the tomatoes, if it is stink bugs, looks like more than just a few. As you know, every place they stick their needle and suck out the juice leaves a little white spot. Normally on my tomatoes there are larger white spots where a bug will work over an area for a while. The speckled nature of your tomatoes makes me think it's not stink bugs. I would definitely spray with Sevin or at least some type of bug spray anyway.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:21AM
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