NewToGardeningCA
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Cluster of tiny bugs on my tomato plant. Help!

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Hi Everyone,
I'm new to gardening and am hoping someone can help me.

What are these bugs that are on my tomato plant? They seem slow moving.
How do I get rid of them and prevent them from returning?

Thank you all for your advice and guidance.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Cluster of tiny bugs on my tomato plant. Help!

Definitely what I call a "hatching event" --- but they look like assassin bug (Wheelbug) nymphs to me. If so, they are the good guys and part of the Garden Patrol.

What do you think? Have you seen these bugs or egg clusters?
:arrow: assassin bug | Extension Entomology
https://blogs.k-state.edu/kansasbugs/tag/assassin-bug/


...in fact, some of them look like they have turned cannibal and are eating each other, which predators unfortunately do tend to do.

It's always a good idea to definitively ID them first so as not to eliminate the beneficials, but for future reference, any slow-moving bugs could easily be LITERALLY wiped out. Wear gloves if you are not sure of what they are and whether it is safe to touch with bare hands.

Soapy water in a cup is also very useful -- just knock them off into the cup.
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.

imafan26
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Re: Cluster of tiny bugs on my tomato plant. Help!

I don't think so. I think they are not good guys. I think they might be spiny tree hoppers. Not good for tomatoes or other plants. They nymphs and adults suck the life out of plants. I used to hand pick them, but you have to go out every day. The good thing is that they try to hide rather than run away so if you can spot them, you have a good chance of catching them. Usually on heavy infestations, the plants are so beaten down and sick, that I find it easier to just pull the plant since a weak plant attracts the pests.
https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/04/05 ... er-nymphs/

https://www.pestnet.org/fact_sheets/toma ... er_248.pdf
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: Cluster of tiny bugs on my tomato plant. Help!

Ah! Looks like you are correct @imafan. I've never seen those before. (I'll have to go back to the fact sheet and read more closely)

Better get your gloves on NewtoGardeningCA :twisted:
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.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Cluster of tiny bugs on my tomato plant. Help!

I don't see the nymphs often and I probably have mistaken them for spiny aphids before, but I see the adults in summer all the time. They try to hide looking like a notch on the stem and they have a large thin sail or keel on their back. They move to the opposite side of the branch when you approach them.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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