Rooted
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Pests?

Yesterday I noticed a few tomatoes that were splitting, I have quite a few tomatoes on the plant, so I thought maybe there were just too many on that branch. Today when I went out, there were these TINY white bugs... what are they?
I have neem oil, can I treat them with that? And how? Do I wash them down and then spray them? Or what?
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jeff84
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Re: Pests?

the splitting can be caused by fluctuations in watering. like a dry spell where you didn't water followed by a heavy rain. the rain causes them to grow faster than the outer membrane can stretch which causes it to split open, have also heard that a calcium or magnesium deficiency can cause splitting but I am not sure that's true. and with the neem oil, just dilute as recommended on the package. I don't think you can really over do neem. it may keep pollinators away though. if you can avoid spraying it directly on the blooms. do those white bugs fly? I don't think they have anything to do with the bad spots on your fruits. although splitting can be a place for bacterial and fungal infections to take hold. and also attract insects to feed.

bri80
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Re: Pests?

Yes, splitting is usually caused by over-watering after a dry spell. Once the skin splits, it can attract all kinds of pests and diseases, although I have to say in your first picture that's not really the type of splitting I'd expect to see from this - it could be a pest.

You have aphids in the other photos. The white ones may be a different type of aphid, or the young ones at a different life stage. My favorite aphid-reducer is a small amount of mild soap (I use Dr. Bronner's peppermint, but mild dish soap works) diluted in a spray bottle of water. Go through your plant and spray all the aphids you can find, either EARLY MORNING or LATE EVENING - NOT in the middle of the day when the sun is shining. Repeat as needed.

Rooted
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Location: Central Alabama

Re: Pests?

Not sure if they fly, they didn't when I touched the leaf. We have had ALOT of rain here within the past 2 weeks... BUT, I have 6 plants, 2 have splitting and bugs and 4 have perfect fruit and no bugs. So, I'm thinking the bugs have something to do with it... thanks for the quick replies!
I think I'll try the soap first since the neem may keep away pollinators. I have Dr. Bronners as well!

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applestar
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Re: Pests?

Um. Those white "bugs" are shed/molted skins of the red and yellow-green bugs -- aphids. I think I see a bit of blossom end rot (BER) on the last fruit you are holding up, but the others look to me more like cat-facing -- partly due to cold snap/temp fluctuation during pollination and fruit setting/formation. Also could be due to uneven/incomplete pollination due to weather conditions, clumped pollen, or possibly aphid infestation on blossoms.

BER is caused by interruption in calcium uptake during fruit set/formation -- soil calcium levels, uneven watering, micronutrient deficiency/imbalance.....

Aphids shouldn't be a serious problem -- shooting with water, hand squishing, mild soapy water, controlling ant activity.... before you reach for anything that will kill them, check and see if beneficial predators are already working among the herd.

This morning, I clipped off an infested leaf, only to find that there were already aphid mummies among the aphids.

...be sure you are not using too much nitrogen in your fertilizer, extra green makes the plants more attractive to aphids.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Rooted
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Location: Central Alabama

Re: Pests?

Well the aphids are under control! Dr. Bronners did the trick.
I had a few more crack for several days, but haven't had any the past 2 days. I found this little guy in one of them, (you have to look close to see it) didn't know if it had anything to do with the cracking? Or if he was just enjoying a little snack... let me know what you think.
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bri80
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Re: Pests?

The likeliest scenario is that it is feeding on it because it cracked, not that the feeding caused the crack.

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applestar
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Re: Pests?

Well, I think it looks like a black/yellow-striped army worm. It's not responsible for the crack, but could well have made those round gouge holes, and probably settled inside the crack because it's nice and dark and easier to feed. :evil:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Rooted
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Location: Central Alabama

Re: Pests?

Thanks! I was hoping that was the case!

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