Subject: tomato pest ID
Location: San Rafael, CA
August 6, 2017 2:33 pm
Found these critters under my tomato leaves today. It’s been quite hot here but there was a light sprinkle yesterday. Looks like they just hatched? They are eating the leaves but not the fruit yet. Black, “dirt-like” feces all over the plant and on the ground beneath. Can you please identify them for me so I can figure out how to deal with them? Sorry I could not get a better photo without it getting blurry. Thank you!!
Show them no mercy Lynette,
These are invasive, exotic, Brown Marmorated Stink Bug hatchlings, which you can verify by comparing your image to this Featured Creatures posting where it states: “The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys Stål, is a pest that was first officially reported from the western hemisphere in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2001 (Hoebeke and Carter 2003). This stink bug may become a major agricultural pest in North America, similar to the southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.). Both species are polyphagous pests of various crops, but in the U.S. it has been primarily reported as a household nuisance and ornamental pest. However, in eastern Asia where the BMSB is native or indigenous, it is a pest on fruit trees and soybeans.” The holes in the leaves of your tomato plant were caused by something else. Like other Stink Bugs, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has a mouth designed to pierce and suck nutritious fluids from plants.