What is making holes in my tomatoes?

z5gardenerJuly 24, 2012

I'm guessing that the culprit is most likely some type of worm, but I have not been able to figure out what type or confirm that. I've done searches and can't find any pictures that match what I'm seeing. Something is making holes in my green tomatoes. I think they are being chewed since it seems like they first appear as round white circles(because the inside of the tomato is whitish at this stage). Then they develop into much larger holes or sometimes they just rot from being exposed. I believe that this could even be more than one issue I am battling here. Thanks.

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Here is another picture.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 6:36PM
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I'm not sure if the link only went to one pic, so here is the link to the album.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to album

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 6:39PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Look around the holey tomatoes for droppings. If it is a hornworm the droppings give you a clue to its location. My hornworms eat the foliage mostly. I don't see slime a sign of slugs. If you don't have copperhead snakes, go out at night with a flashlight and look under the leaves.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:51AM
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The initial pic I posted has droppings by the hole, but do not look like typical hornworm droppings. There is a better pic of it in the album. The hornworm droppings I have seen are blackish and this was light brown and gooey. I sprayed about 2 weeks ago with BT and intend to spray again tonight. I'd still like to know what is causing the damage since BT only kills a few things. I had 3 hornworms about 2 weeks ago, but have not noticed any new leaf damage since then and after the BT. I guess they could be feasting on the fruit instead.

I do not have any copperheads, so I'm pretty safe looking at night.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:52AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I am not sure how long Bt works. I don't use it because it makes me sick. Climbing cutworms hide in the ground around the base of the plant, but if you are curious look at night and you may catch the culprit.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 5:33PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Look at these pictures

Here is a link that might be useful: climbing cutworms

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 5:36PM
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That's interesting. I've never heard of bt making you sick. You've given me something to think about there.

I've found some worms other than hornworms that I have not been able to identify. I caught one on my tomato yesterday, but it fell off and I couldn't find it. From my 2 second look at it, it was brown or black with two stripes running down the length of its body. I've also seen one that was green with yellow stripes. I'll try to get a picture if I see one again.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:04AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

The climbing cutworms come in different colors and stripes. I have a butterfly book that shows two colorations of the same type of larva; one is green one darker.

I thought the tomatoes themselves were making me sick. It went on for two or three years. I ate tomatoes anyway because it is hard to give them up but then had a rumbling abdomen. One year I noticed that I was able to eat tomatoes breakfast, lunch and dinner for a few weeks until I had worms eating them. I sprayed with Thuricide. Now I don't use any of the bacterial products. I don't really know what does it maybe it was a coincidence but I can eat tomatoes now.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Looks like damage from a Tomato Fruitworm. Once in the tomato, the tomato is no good....you can't "cure" the damage. Prevention is the only step, now, from spreading to other fruit. If you see a tomato with a hole in it (some up to the size of a pea), pick it and get rid of it. I am not talking about "bites" such as tomato hornworms make, but holes that look like they were drilled into (or out) of the fruit. BT, Neem, or Spinosad can be applied to the plant and fruit, and I believe they are organic approved; but read the instructions. The little worms are the color of the stem and leaves, and prefer new green fruit. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:38PM
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