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Old August 3, 2020   #1
KathyDC
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Default What is this? Stink bug damage, something else?

I haven't seen any stink bugs this year, but that doesn't mean they're not out there. It only seems to affect this one plant, though, and not all the fruit on it look like this. But some do. Thoughts?
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Old August 3, 2020   #2
b54red
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Could be stink bugs or leaf footed bugs or just that mottled look you sometimes get with a tomato for some reason.

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Old August 3, 2020   #3
habitat_gardener
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The stink bug damage on my tomatoes has more irregular shapes, not those perfect circles. Other than that, it does look like that.

I found leaf-footed bug damage on my tomatoes this year before I saw the first LFB, and so far I've only caught 4-5 adults, plus a whole bunch just hatching. The damage so far is only on a few varieties, and particularly on tomatoes with a lot of leaf cover. The tomatoes hidden high up in the plant are the ones that get the most damage.
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Old August 4, 2020   #4
Salsacharley
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Check out Spotted Wilt Virus.
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Old August 4, 2020   #5
KathyDC
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I looked at spotted wilt but the weird circles don't look quite like what I have, and the plant's leaves are overall good, it's a very healthy plant with lots of green foliage.

But ... I saw a stink bug today. So I'm pretty sure that's what it is. Anybody have ideas for how to combat them beyond just picking them off the plant? I can do that when I see them but surely there's something more effective.

I read that pyrethrin will help but these are cherries so I don't think it's recommended for fruit that size.
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Old August 5, 2020   #6
b54red
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When stinkbugs or leaf footed bugs get bad then I spray with Permethrin and very soapy water. It takes a higher than normal dose of Permethrin to kill either of them effectively. If you have the time to hunt them down with a small hand spray bottle and just spray the ones you see it can be very effective but it is time consuming and must be done daily to keep up with them. It is easiest to kill them when they are very young and herd together until they are nearly grown. The best time to hunt for them is very early and very late in the day.

One thing for sure is if they are not controlled they will ruin most of your fruit when their numbers multiply and they will do the same to bell peppers.

Bill
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Old August 5, 2020   #7
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I've seen grasshoppers do that on various fruits. I see it most often when a single large grasshopper removes all the outer layer of a tomato plant branch (the epidermis and/or cortex). They girdle the branch causing the part above the girdle to die. On the fruit, they seem to eat small areas of the surface. I sometimes wonder if the same mechanism is at work as it is in blossom end rot. In my garden, BER occurs on fruit which have not fully filled out with the blossom end still expanding requiring more calcium for the cell walls. The transportation of calcium is usually disrupted by excess water like heavy rain. This is only an observation by me in my garden. I do not know if it is scientifically accurate.
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