Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tomato Problems? Try Flea Beetles! by Stan Ames

  • Do some of the leaves on your tomato plants have holes in the lower outside leaves and the leaves are turning yellow?
  • What should you do?
  • Any other symptoms?
  • Large green worms been seen on the plant? No?
  • How about little tiny white or gray little bugs (Aphids)? No again!
  • Blackish spots on leaves and the edge turning yellow? No!
  • Just lots of little tiny holes in the leaves and they leaves are turning yellow? Right!
All of the symptoms mentioned lead to the diagnosis of Flea beetles! These pests chew little holes in the leaves! Inspect the underside of the affected leaves and look for very shiny little brown or black beetles about the size of a straight pin head. However they may have their feast and moved on to the next plant before you noticed the damage.

Other common causes of tomato problems in Colorado are:
  • Phosphorus deficiency
  • Curly Top virus – leaves and stems become stiff
  • Psyllids – stems may become distorted
  • Flea Beetles – adults chew small holes in the leaves
  • Tomato hornworms – voracious feeders, they strip leaves from the stems.
  • Early blight – produces brown or black spots on older leaves
  • Septoria leaf spot – white or gray spots on leaves
  • Whiteflies and aphids Cucumber mosaic virus – leaves appear shiny and are sticky
  • Fusarium wilt and Fusarium crown rot – leaves turn brown and wilt.

Here's a complete article on recognizing tomato problems .