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What's wrong in this pic??

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Tonya on August 08, 2006 07:38 AM
I keep finding leaves like this and in the part that is folded over there are tiny little droppings. I have yet to find the culprit and now I am getting holes in my maters as well... [Mad] Please help!!

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by Bestofour on August 08, 2006 12:59 PM
could it be flea beetles

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by peppereater on August 08, 2006 01:32 PM
Those critters are leaf folders, and they move fast when you peel open the leaves. They shoot out of the leaf and drop to the ground.
I don't think they're making the holes in the 'maters, though, that's likely fruit worms. Do you know about Bt? Bacillus thuringiensis...you can get it as Dipel Dust, or Thuricide liquid concentrate. It is a bacteria that only kills catterpillars. The dust seems to last on the plants longer, but the liquid penetrates better and gives better coverage. Totally natural, harmless to beneficial insects, pets and people, and widely available. I had the leaf folders earlier, and was able to caarefully open most of the leaves and squish the worms before they sensed the danger...time consuming, though.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by peppereater on August 08, 2006 01:34 PM
Oh, and to clarify, the leaf folders are tiny worms that stitch the leaves together with tiny threads or webs. Are you seeing those? They leave droppings like you described.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Tonya on August 08, 2006 01:44 PM
Dave, that must be it...I was getting ready to post about the web-like things when I saw this! Thanks bunches! [thumb]

I have been afraid to pull the leaves open...I was afraid it would be a spider! [scaredy] I DO NOT do spiders...

Thanks again!

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by peppereater on August 08, 2006 01:51 PM
Just remember, you can lose some leaves without dire affects. Holes in fruit are a different story. What do the holes look like, anyway? Perfectly round, or ragged?

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Tonya on August 09, 2006 06:22 AM
Some are perfectly round and some are ragged. I found a slug in one of the ragged holes... [Mad] one less slug in this world!

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by peppereater on August 09, 2006 07:19 AM
I think the round holes are made by tomato fruit worms, but I'm not sure. They will make a round hole and eat on into the inside of the fruit sometimes, too. The slug may have been taking advantage of a hole something else made, I've never seen one eat through healthy skin. The ragged holes could be most anything, even birds. I've started picking my tom's when they half ripe and ripening them inside and I'm having a lot less problem with critters, and the 'maters are just as good! The worst thing that happens is, sometimes I'll see a gorgeous, ripe fruit and start to pick it, only to find that something ate the whole bottom off and left the rest to spoil! [Mad]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Tonya on August 09, 2006 07:41 AM
Whatever it is leaving the ragged holes is eating my green ones too! Big and small...green or red, doesn't seem to matter... [dunno] I am going to get some of that Bt you told me about, I hope....

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by peppereater on August 09, 2006 07:46 AM
Have you noticed if if any leaves are being eaten back to the stem? You may have hornworms...they're really hard to see, because they're camouflaged, but they're great big. Do you see lots of droppings on the plants?

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Tonya on August 09, 2006 08:33 AM
Only on the leaves that are folded over, but I do have little holes in the leaves (some look almost like lace)

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by Tonya on August 09, 2006 08:55 AM
I am getting pics loaded into PB now under plants...of a caterpillar I found(he was brown?) and the leaves and holes in tomatoes...I have dial up so just keep checking. Thanks SOOOO much Dave!! [kissies]

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by Tonya on August 09, 2006 10:10 AM
Here we are:

The caterpillar-
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The leaves-
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The holes-
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by ChristinaC on August 09, 2006 10:46 AM
That caterpillar is a hornworm...it will eventually change colour to the exact colour of the stem.
I don't think that's what putting those holes in your maters though...Dave will probably know more.

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by ChristinaC on August 09, 2006 10:47 AM
Oh..I should mention..atleast I think it's a hornworm...not completely sure..but it sure does look like it...just not so green. [dunno]

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by peppereater on August 09, 2006 11:14 AM
Darn it all! I hate to see so much damage. That does look like a hornworm, but the ones I've seen were always green, even at that size, and from the picture, I don't see the horn on his butt.
The damage on the leaves is not hornworm damage...they eat the entire leaf, or a big chunk out of 'em. They often eat all the leaves on a stem, leaving "twigs." The leaf the worm is on is like hornworm damage, the other leaves aren't.
The damage on the 'maters could be from hornworms, they sometimes jsut take a bite, but i suspect they could be fruitworms, I'm not sure. I've seen holes like that that go deeper and actually have a smallish worm inside the tomato, but the hole outside looks the same. I tend to take tomatoes like that in and se if they ripen before they rot, then cut away the bad part. Let me see if I can drag and drop these pics into the pest section, maybe we'll get more responses. You could try the dipel dust, but I don't think any kind of catterpillar ate those leaves...another product you could try, it's very safe, is Neem oil. It is a pesticide and a repellent. It might work for you.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by peppereater on August 09, 2006 12:37 PM
Tonya...I started a new topic in the pests section, and posted the last three pics. Keep an eye on that topic, too.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Tonya on August 09, 2006 01:51 PM
You guys are great!! Thanks so much! The caterpillar/hornworm (?) is now dead... [Mad]

I'm wondering if grasshoppers are the leaf culprits? [dunno] I'll watch the other topic!

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