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rainbowgardener
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two more tomato pests!

I have not seen a single hornworm this season. However, I was out taking care of tomatoes, watering and pruning and discovered two different pests. One tomato fruit had a bunch of holes in it and three different little wormy things. They were an inch or so long, VERY skinny, and had a zillion legs, looked centipede-ish. Dark with lighter brown crossbar stripes.

Then I found a caterpillar that was clearly a leaf eater from the condition of the leaf he was on. A lot bigger and thicker (but considerably smaller than a horn worm), dark with narrow orange stripe longitudinally down each side.

I don't have time now to try to ID them, but I just thought I'd mention them.

Tomatoes are being slow to ripen, but everything is looking good. Found the first beginnings of septoria, so I removed all the leaves showing any signs and did a lot of pruning out leaves/branches growing in to the interior of the cage to improve air circulation. These are the plants the deer chewed on, so they got really bushy.
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imafan26
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Re: two more tomato pests!

I have been luckier this year the only pests have been the slugs and birds.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: two more tomato pests!

My skinny multi-legged guy looked a lot like this picture of a millipede, but only about an inch or so long:

Image
https://www.allaboutworms.com/wp-content ... n-Tile.jpg

but to my knowledge millipedes eat decaying stuff, they don't bore holes in to fresh growing tomatoes. So I still don't know what it was, definitely not a fruitworm or cutworm, which were the main things coming up in my searches.


the caterpillar may have been the appropriately named striped garden caterpillar:

Image
https://www.discoverlife.org/IM/I_NAT/00 ... AT2043.jpg

Says it prefers to eat grassy stuff, but will eat almost anything green.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: two more tomato pests!

(bump) so anyone have any thoughts on what the milliped-ish looking things eating my tomato were?
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: two more tomato pests!

No, but I think that caterpillar you're talking about is a Yellow Striped Armyworm.
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: two more tomato pests!

I posted this before, but it went away to the land of lost posts...

Maybe your caterpillars are making holes, and the millipedes are just acting as the cleanup crew. Eating the decayed flesh and frass?
Lindsay
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applestar
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Re: two more tomato pests!

I didn't comment because I couldn't think of anything.

But I did try to find out if there are any other kinds of millipedes besides the skinny long ones in my garden around here, and this one found in Pa. Sounds like your description:
https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2010/03/27/millipede-4/

...was yours stinky?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: two more tomato pests!

The picture is not my picture of my caterpillar, it is an internet picture of the striped garden caterpillar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichordestra_legitima

I do think that is what I had.

I've never had army worms, but from what I have read, I don't think you find ONE army worm (that's why they are called army!).

The caterpillar is definitely a leaf eater and the millipedish thing was definitely boring holes in the fruit and living in them and leaving droppings in them, so I don't think they were related. I understand that actual millipedes are detritovores, that's why I keep saying millipede looking thing.

Sorry, but I didn't keep it around long enough to find out if it was stinky. Unfortunately sometimes my eeeww gross get rid of that bug reflex still takes over from the scientific curiosity. :?
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dustyrivergardens
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Re: two more tomato pests!

looks like a green house millipede tough to get rid of pull your plant up probably hundreds by there roots. There kind of like pill bugs...

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rainbowgardener
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Re: two more tomato pests!

Not pulling my tomato plant up for awhile, since it is healthy and producing! :) But it's odd. I haven't seen any more of either pest or any more signs of damage. The millipede-y thing did look a lot like the greenhouse millipede. But those are supposed to eat only decaying matter. There were three of these and they were all in holes in one tomato. I suppose something else could have made the holes and the millipedes were just cleaning out the decaying stuff left behind? I haven't seen any something else. But right now those tomato plants are growing rampantly and bushy and they are inside a deer netting cage, so I really haven't done a close inspection for awhile.
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