Mysterious little black dot guests on tomatoes?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by thomas633957, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. thomas633957

    thomas633957 New Seed

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    Okay my tomatoes are growing fine everything is going perfect and whoops a problem. I noticed this evening on the leaves of several of my plants portions of the leaves eaten away. At first I thought this might be the work of Japanese beetles but on closer inspection I saw many tiny insects perhaps the size of the tip of a marker that appeared to be all black in color. They are to small for me to tell if they are a worm or beetle or what. Any help would be appreciated.
     



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  2. thomas633957

    thomas633957 New Seed

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    Okay the little black dots are feces I think and not the actual pest. The distressing part is that after a little research on Wikipedia i found a picture of a hornworm in the process of going to the bathroom and guess what its the poop!! Problem is even after searching the bush I couldn't find any. I sprayed it down with gardensaf! brand neem oil in the hope that this will kill them or at least deter them. Question do Brachonids live in GA? Cause I sure need them now.
     
  3. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Hornworm's were my first guess Thomas.
    They are huge beasts that can devour your plants in a hurry and are very hard to spot on the plants considering their size. They are masters of camouflage!
    They do turn into lovely moths though.
    Good luck.
     
  4. thomas633957

    thomas633957 New Seed

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    Ah Ha I found the little bugger and to my suprise it wasn't a Hornworm but get this a Cabbage Looper. Now I know I am new to this whole gardening thing but by the name shouldn't this guy be bothering somebody with cabbage plants! Not my tomatos. I mean are they equal opportunity eaters of plants??
     
  5. Griphook

    Griphook Seedling

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    If you plant cabbage near tomatos, they usually will stay on the cabbage. Some people alternate cabbage and tomatos on their rows.
     
  6. gardengater

    gardengater Young Pine

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    Thanks for the lesson on pests. I will be on the lookout for "dots" I've heard that Neem is a good organic deterrant and next year my cabbage won't be so far from the toms.

    Gardengater
     
  7. thomas633957

    thomas633957 New Seed

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    Okay now I'm really upset because apparently the cabbage loopers called up their friends the hornworms and invited them to the party. I found two hornworms and once I saw them their was no problem with identification. Boy if nothing else by the time I get done with my gardening I will be a halfway descent entemologist. Anyhoo I called in the heavy reinforcements and sprayed mt plants with Sevin and got instant gratification :twisted: Question: How common is it to have both of these pests on your plants and is their a natural predator for the Cabbage Looper????
     
  8. pete28

    pete28 Seedling

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    Thomas I had a similar problem and made a mixture of tobasco sauce and water and it worked wonders. You will have to pick off the hornworms by hand though and tehy are quite sticky. Your tomatoes will rebound though so dont fret!