Are these Spider-like bugs harmful to my Tomatoes?

chitralekha(Z8 TX)July 29, 2014

My tomatoes have large number of orange colored spidery creatures as shown in the image. What are they? Are they harmful to the green tomatoes? If so what can I do to get rid of them?

I will appreciate any help.
Chitralekha

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MKull(8 SATX)

I believe those are leaf-footed bug nymphs, squash bugs, stink bugs, etc. They live off the fluids of plants so yes they will be happy to suck tomatoes. Keep an eye on the plants, since they just hatched they should be dispersed in a day or two, if not already. If you need to control them then, then address it but more than likely they will spread out. I personally don't really consider leaf-footers garden "pests".

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:34PM
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houstontexas123(z9a)

they are pests, they will destroy most fruits in your garden.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:49AM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Just my 2 cents
Might be wrong
But they look like Assassin Bug nymphs to me

If so they eat other bugs & shouldn't harm your plants
???

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:02AM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

PS~
Being in Texas they can also be Wheel Bug nymphs
Which is a type of Assassin Bug

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:11AM
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MKull(8 SATX)

I should have added that I don't grow tomatoes because I don't eat tomatoes (weird right...I know) so I haven't had to deal with *any* pests on my tomatoes, therefore I can't talk specifically to how bad leaf-footers are on them.

It would be great if they were assassins but there appears to be many in close proximity and the the two black dots on the abdomen IDs them as leaf-footers :(

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:37AM
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houstontexas123(z9a)
    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:27PM
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colonel_kernel

Those aren't assassins. Chemical warfare is necessary if you want a decent crop. I'm on the Texas gulf coast and those vermin visit us every year.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:58AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

There was a thread about how to control stink bugs earlier in July that spoke of a way to blow Diatomaceous earth onto tomato plants which the poster had found to be successful. It also contains some informative links.

A different kind of stink bug is discussed here, but you might want to check out these ideas for control:

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Stink-Bugs-Naturally

Here is a link that might be useful: Earlier thread:

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:31AM
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chitralekha(Z8 TX)

I thank everyone for trying to help me with the Tomato bug problem.
I suspect the bugs to be pests.
I had noted several tomatoes deformed and damaged in this plant before I saw the bunch of these menacing insects with two separate dark spots on its abdominal region and orange yellow skin color as seen in the image. After reading your answers I took some more photos, pushed some of the insects into an oiled container for closer examination and plucked one tomato with several of these bugs crawling on it. On that tomato, I saw a dark and an orange-yellow insects joined in copulating position while a dark one was seen crawling a little away. I also saw a round depressed scar and a thick linear scar extending from it. Are these bugs the cause of the damage? I will try the Metro DataVac Electric Duster Vacuum cleaner method to physically remove the bugs. I will post back the result after a period of observation.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:23PM
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beachplant(9b)

worst bugs ever! Leaf-footed bug, they look like some sort of dinosaur flying. Impossible to get rid of, I just pull the tomatoes when i see the first one. UGH!
Tally Ho!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:01PM
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colonel_kernel

Those do look like leaf footed nymphs. Permethrin works really well, as does cheaper sevin. You can go with the more manual plan to physically remove the bugs, but you won't get all of them.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:19PM
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chitralekha(Z8 TX)

Once again thank you very much for your valuable diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

If the physical methods of Pest removal fails, I may reluctantly use the Chemicals recommended. Mine is an organic back yard vegetable garden and I use only things like liquid soap and Neem oil spray for most of the pests. Although my cucumbers, Okras, Eggplants, Beans etc. are not very pretty looking or uniform in shape and size, we and our neighbours with whom I share the produce like them very much.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:32PM
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colonel_kernel

Well, if you're organic; try Pyrethrin. It's an unaltered chemical derived from chrysanthemum flowers - naturally occurring. It's only draw back is that it doesn't last long AT ALL. I'm currently using it and can vouch that it works. It can be used on fruits and veggies one day before harvest (again, because it doesn't last long).

One way to help combat these in the future is to plant chrysanthemum and marigold flowers in your garden - it's not a "cure all," but certain pests don't like these flowers!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:01AM
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chitralekha(Z8 TX)

I tried Water Jet, Hand picking and Electric Vacuum to fight the Leaf-footed Bugs infesting the 4 Solar Fire Tomato plants in my back yard garden. The plants had a heavy load of tomatoes of varying maturity. Finally I had to wave the white flag and pick all the green and partially ripe tomatoes to salvage what I could. See the image of tomatoes damaged by this disgusting bug. My garden had a lot of Merry Gold with flowers from the very beginning and I had hoped it would ward off these pests. The Plants are still the and I may try some chemical pesticides in one and leave the rest as controls and see if the bugs will attack again. Anyone has any other suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:40PM
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