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Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Posted by spaghetina SF Bay Area (My Page) on
Wed, May 19, 10 at 23:20

The tomato/potato psyllids are definitely back with a vengeance here in the SF Bay Area. This afternoon, I killed 4 or 5 adults, and had to pull and destroy several leaves that were covered in the telltale eggs. At this point, I'm sure I can't be the only one in the Bay Area to have them, although last year, I felt like I was the only one around here that'd ever even seen the bastardly things. The adults are quite small, and the eggs are minuscule, so it's understandable that people wouldn't necessarily be able to spot them without very close inspection and really good eyes, or without a magnifying glass.

I've asked in the tomato forum, and nobody seemed to have an answer, so I'm posing this question to the greater GW population: Have you seen encountered tomato/potato psyllids, and what has been your most effective form of control?

I have two bottles of spinosad concentrate at the ready, and that seems to be the most widely recommended organic control, but first hand knowledge can sometimes be more valuable than anything else.

For those of you in the Bay Area, especially in the South Bay, I encourage you to go out and really inspect your tomato foliage. If need be, bring out a magnifying glass and get in close. See if you spot any yellow/orange eggs on the perimeters of your leaves, standing up on tiny, almost imperceptible stalks. They're smaller than lacewing eggs, which also similarly stand up on stalks. If you have them, be prepared for a fight. These guys don't like to go down without taking your plants with 'em. >:(


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Thu, May 20, 10 at 11:28

This info is for commercial growers, but you might get some insights from it
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r783303011.html

Beyond that, call & ask your' County's UC Extension Service office. Here's a clickable map to help locate that officehttp://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

Here is a link that might be useful: locate your County's Extension Sevice office


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

I had a couple visits with the extension office last year. They had no idea what these particular psyllids looked like, how to treat them, or whether or not there was any information of their spread through northern California, lol. Basically, they directed me to the web, and that was it. They did, however, confirm that what I had was, in fact, tomato psyllids, after I supplied them with 2 different samples. I'm not sure how other extension offices are staffed, but mine out here is staffed by master gardener volunteers, which isn't to say that they're not knowledgeable - they certainly are - but they definitely weren't quite the wealth of information I was hoping to be able to draw from.

I'm really surprised other folks from my area haven't complained more about these pests. I'm convinced it's because the eggs are so darned small that most people are missing them. I can't be the only one here that these nasty little buggers are harassing! Not that I'd wish them on anyone else, but I was hoping there'd be someone around to commiserate with, if nothing else.

If you see things that look like little grains of sugar, or your plants are starting to turn yellowish, or you spot tiny little bugs that look like mini-cicadas, it's probably psyllids.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

spag,

Do you have any photos you can post of them magnified, as well as the leaf damage they do?

Raybo (in Campbell)


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

I have my own photos, but I didn't take any pictures of what the plants ended up looking like by the end of the season. There are quite a few photos floating around online of plants with "psyllid yellows", so I'll post a couple links so you can take a looksy:

Here's a leaf with eggs sticking up from it:
Bugs?  Eggs?  Help!

Here's one closer up, but slightly blurrier (cell phone camera). Don't let the closeness of the image fool you, those eggs are teeeeeny tiny!
Bugs/Eggs up close

Here's the beginning of the damage - leaf cupping of previously nice, normal foliage
Leaf cupping from psyllid infestation

And here are a couple of the little bastards I caught and took to the county extension office in Half Moon Bay

You can see they mostly like to lay them on the perimeter of the leaves, but you can sometimes find them on the interior and often on the undersides too. I still have yet to see what the nymphs look like up close and personal. I knew what I was looking for, but either they blended too well, or they were too small or too well camouflaged because I never saw any last year, but I definitely saw the psyllids themselves and their telltale "sugar".


Here are some clearer photos from Ventura County's extension office:
Clear bug photos

And a link to a page with one photo of a plant with psyllid yellows, although mine never got quite that bad:
Psyllid yellows, nymphs, sugar, etc.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Thu, May 20, 10 at 23:10

spaghetina,

Master Gardeners serve home gardeners through their county Extension Service. Their skills & degree of knowledge varies widely. So yes, they're not necessarily a huge fount of knowledge; it may even depend upon who you talk to on any one day

However, at least in our tri-county area, Master Gardeners are supposed to refer tough questions to subsequent shifts of Master Gardeners and/or to an appropriate extension agent.

Sometimes a county office doesn't have an entomologist, or a vegetable specialist. (Ours lacks both.) But an agent exists who serves your region of the state for those specialties. The MGs should be able to access that person for you, then get the information back to you in one way or another.

Because your ID & diagnosis is right on, I suggest you phone your county office and ask questions concerning the above. Gently push their buttons. Someone in that office knows how to obtain the answers that you & other gardeners in your area need.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

spag,

Thanks for the photos - - now I know what to look for. BTW, in one of the earlier articles, it said to NOT treat with Sevin, as this will only make the problem worse. I wonder why? I have some Ortho Complete Home Care (ants, spiders, etc.) and wonder how that would work on them.

Can you see the eggs with the naked eye, or do you need a magnifying glass?

thanks,

Raybo


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

spag,

After reading the articles mentioned above, Permethrin seems to be the closest match to control Psyllids. See link:

http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/permethrin-sfr-368-125-gallon-p-445.html

The Quart size should be more than enough for the home gardener. I realize it is not labeled as "organic", but it is an option...

Raybo

Here is a link that might be useful: Permethrin to control Psyllids


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Raybo, I really, REALLY hope that they pass right by your house and don't decide to take up residence. Your tomatoes are too gorgeous to have them affected by the psyllid nastiness, but thankfully, I think yours are probably big enough now that even if they are attacked, they'll probably still produce fruit that tastes pretty good. All of my plants are just now getting started, and most aren't even a foot tall yet, so I'm in for a world of hurt, since these guys are here early. I'm crossing my fingers that I get to taste a good homegrown tomato this year, but I won't hold my breath. I've seen spinosad mentioned in several articles, so I have a couple bottles ready to spray the plants down tomorrow morning when the wind will hopefully behave itself. I'm going to try to start with the least toxic remedies (aside from horticultural oils because I can't imagine them doing much on the adults or eggs) and work my way up, but I really want to avoid spraying or dusting with anything that's going to take out the bees. We have so many of them around here, and I'd hate to think of doing anything that'd harm the population.

The eggs can be seen with the naked eye, but if you're not right up close to the affected leaves, you'll be hard pressed to notice them. I've been spending a lot of time the last two days sitting in the yard with my face inches from the foliage, surveying each plant, watching for movement, looking for eggs that are almost too small to see, and killing any psyllids (and aphids) that I find. I think for most people, a magnifying glass will be the easiest way to spot them. I know my mom can't see the eggs at all, and can barely even see the psyllids beyond noticing that there's some sort of "black bug" on the leaves, so you may want to head out with one and take a good, very close look.

I have something like 14 varieties in the front yard right now, and 3 in the back, and and so far they seem confined to the largest concentration of plants, and prefer some more than others.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

spag,

Next time you are in the San Jose area, please feel free to drop by to the EarthTainer "Farm". I am near Highway 17 and the San Tomas Exit. Shoot me an email as I would like you to look over my plants for any bugs, etc. You have developed a keen eye for this stuff!!

Raybo


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

I'm going to need to head down to Mountain View and possibly Saratoga this coming week, provided the weather holds out (looks like rain mid-week though!), if you'll be free. Drop me a line via GW, and we can figure something out.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

I got back from vacation last night and checked my garden this morning, and was completely dismayed to see that little bit of psyllid leaf curl happening -- evil things!! I had them for the first time last year, found them too late, and they definitely did a number on my tomatoes and potatoes.

I sprayed my tomatoes this morning with Spinosad, and was just trying to figure out when/if I should spray again. I checked my plants just now and found a few dead adults and a couple of nymphs, so I'm glad I jumped on it quickly.

Unless anyone has a better suggestion, I will probably spray again in a week or so, and then keep a watchful eye open. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info on psyllid control out there, so I'll be checking back here regularly for other's experiences (hopefully limited!!).


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

I, too, have been doing the spinosad sprays, but I'm not finding any dead adults. It does seem to have controlled them a tiny bit, since I'm not seeing an onslaught, but I did go out today and find 5 or 6 leaves that had eggs on them, and I'm sure I probably missed some. I also managed to kill 5 or 6 adults.

What kind of concentration of the spinosad are you using? I loosely followed the guidelines in my 2-gallon pressurized sprayer, but I'm wondering if I should up the dosage just a tiny bit. When you found the adults, were they still attached to the leaves? I have yet to see a dead adult that I didn't kill myself, and those suckers are QUICK - if you don't close your grip on them fast, they hop/fly away before you even know what happened.

I think I'll probably be spraying once a week or so, or after a rain (not like we get much of that around here once summer hits though). I just hate the idea of my spraying killing the bees around here. It's only super toxic for the first 4 hours, or while still wet, supposedly, but it's still not good for them once it's dry. :(


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Had to spray my figs with spinosad for the psyllids. Never knew what they were until last year when I thought I had the Asian Citrus Psyllid. Ag agent came by and got samples but it was the boxwood psyllid and my citrus were disease free.

Thanks for the info about them attacking tomato plants. I will keep watch.

Nasty little buggers...........

DL


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Interesting, I wonder if I can have my agent come by. I already have confirmation on what they are, but it seems like there isn't any information for other people around here regarding the fact that we even have tomato/potato psyllids in this area now, and maybe they'd be able to get the word out.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

spaghetina,

I use a hose-end sprayer, and set it at the recommended amount -- 4 TBS per gallon. I considered using my little pressure sprayer, but thought that a shower would be better than a mist in terms of coverage and reducing possible overspray.

I sprayed first thing in the morning, but what I should have done was to wait until the evening when the bees are back in their nests. There's a gal up in the Santa Cruz mountains that grows tons of tomatoes and keeps hives, and if she finds an infestation will wait until dusk to spray spinosad or pyrethrin so that it minimizes the impact on her bees.

The dead adults I found were both on the plant stems and leaves. The nymphs I found were still alive, but I'm hoping that the spinosad just hadn't had time to take effect yet--it has to be ingested. I'll check again today to see if I find any more nymphs, dead or alive. If I find more, I'll try some insecticidal soap on them per this webpage that I just came across:

Here is a link that might be useful: Psyllid Control info at Planet Natural


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Ah ha, I've been spraying in the morning to avoid the afternoon/evening winds, but I guess I'll switch to evenings if it means the bees have a better chance of being spared. It's good to know that someone's out there spraying and is managing to keep her hives alive.

I've only ever seen the nymphs once, and it was right before my very first adult sighting of the season. Despite having looked over every single piece of psyllid info I could get my hands on online, I wasn't positive about what they were until I started seeing the grownups. I'm generally not great about checking underneath leaves, so that's probably why I never spotted a single nymph last summer, even though my tomatoes were absolutely infested with psyllids. (Blehhhhhh, few things in the English language gross me out more than the word "infested". *shudder*)

One of these days, I hope somebody comes up with a better control than spinosad - it doesn't seem to be super duper effective, at least not yet, and I want these nasty bugs GONE. I would do a happy dance if I found dead adults anywhere other than between my fingers.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

spaghetina,

Just an update. Down here in the South Bay, no psyllids as of today. In fact, in spite of the rain, I don't have Powdery Leaf Mildew as I've had the past 2 years. Go figure. So, other than an occasional Aphid, things are pretty "boring" (no pun intended) on the insect front this Season.

Photobucket

Raybo


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Ray,

You're so lucky they're skipping over your house. So far, (knock on wood) they're staying out of my backyard and only going for the tomatoes I have in the front. I'd like to think it's because I'm catching and killing them before they have a chance to discover the goodies in back, but realistically, it's probably just a matter of time. Hearing that you don't have them makes me wish I still lived in Santa Clara. Oh right, but I didn't have a sunny yard in SC... ahhh, trade-offs.

Hope you had a great trip! If you still want me to come by to double check, I'm more than happy to.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Thanks for posting this thread.

I guess I can join the tomato psyllid club. I noticed a nymph a couple months ago, but didn't think much of it. The other day I noticed a few leaves covered in what looked like coarse white salt. When magnified, the objects looked like eggs.

Only yesterday did I discover that those are not eggs but what is referred to as "psyllid sugar" (aka honeydew or droppings). I went to my local nursery -- the expert there said they have absolutely no info on tomato psyllids. They are apparently a relatively new phenomena on tomatoes, having migrated from potatoes and other plants. He knew of no insecticide that had been approved for treatment -- he even checked all his reference books.

For now, I just blasted them with water and I will wait to see what they do. I'm leaning toward trying permethrin or spinosad if they persist.

These are four photos of one of my tomato leaves showing the adults, nymphs, cast skins, and droppings ("sugar").

---

And here are a couple photos from the Colorado State U image site, very similar to my plants.


Potato/tomato psyllid
Paratrioza cockerelli (Sulc)
Host: tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.)
Descriptor: Damage
Description: Characteristic droppings ('psyllid sugar') on tomato leaves
Image location: United States

Click here for many more photos of psyllids.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Yikes, you've got 'em bad, Drift. This is a club I don't think anyone wants to be a member of. :( And those photos from CO. State are horrifying!

So far this year, I've only found sugar on one of my plants, and it was a tiny amount. Of course, that means that now I've got more adults flying around and laying eggs because I couldn't find the nymphs the sugar came from, but I've been pretty diligent about plucking off leaves and scraping off eggs (they're surprisingly difficult to rub off, and I started with the spinosad a couple weeks ago. I haven't been finding any dead adults, like Sequin, but it does seem like the population is being somewhat kept at bay - whether that's from the spraying or from my hand picking (usually kill several adults, several times a day), who knows?

The plants aren't showing any signs of psyllid yellows yet, which is a good thing, and I'm hoping that I don't get so lazy with my increasing workload, that I stop making time to go out and pluck and kill every day.

It's been really frustrating trying to find information about these things, and about what can be done to kill them. Like you discovered, people around here just don't have any knowledge about them at all, but at least the people at your nursery believed you. The ones at mine told me 1. I was nuts...it was absolutely impossible that I had psyllids on my tomatoes, and that the photos of eggs I brought in must have been something else, and 2. maybe they were aphids of some sort.

Your water blasts will likely do little to deter them. They'll jump or fly off, and then come right back, and the eggs and nymphs attach themselves well enough that anything short of a power washer probably won't free them. Since spinosad seems to be the recurring name amongst all sites, I'd recommend you get your hands on some, and start spraying a.s.a.p. It's pretty heartbreaking to raise your tomatoes only to end up with dead plants or nasty tasting fruits, but I'll be sitting over here crossing my fingers for you that you can get them under control.

Down with psyllids! Lol.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Ok, I just made a horrifying discovery - I was out in the parking lot, about to grab my bag out of the trunk, and I saw a psyllid on the hatch of my car. And then another. And then ANOTHER. I found somewhere in the the neighborhood of 30 psyllids wiggling their butts on my black car. (I did several walkarounds of the car and squished them all.) I haven't found nearly as many at any one time in my garden, but I'm wondering why they all ended up on my vehicle. And I'm also seeing how easily they can be spread, since I just came 20 miles over a bridge from my house, and have now likely released psyllids into this area. This is terrible! They seem to either be really, really attracted to the color black or to something on my car, either the paint, or the pollen, or the soap I used to wash it. Whatever it is, I'm not sure if it's a good thing that my car is functioning as a trap crop, or if it's a bad thing that it's picking up insane amounts of psyllids, possibly from other areas, and bringing them back to my house.

Aack! I don't know what to do!


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Something else...

Another strange thing - these psyllids were all reddish colored, rather than the normal gray. They still have the white sripes, and the bodies and markings are exactly the same as the ones I'm accustomed to seeing, aside from the color.

Anyone have experience with reddish colored psyllids?


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Hey spaghetina -- thanks for the follow up. Sorry to hear about the attack on your auto! Too weird!

While my leaf looks terribly infested, I haven't found any more of the little pests since I removed a couple similar ones and blasted them with water. I am keeping a watchful eye with my camera in hand.

As to spinosad, I have some at the ready for use. However, I just read that sulfur dust is what is recommended (but I can't remember where I read that! Ack!)

Red psyllids? Are you sure? I've come across some red aphids, but not psyllids. Take some pics and post them. I find the pictures posted on GW so useful in helping identify all sorts of little critters.

I'm seriously thinking of buying 1000 green lacewings and letting them loose in the garden -- AND getting some sulfur dust.

I did learn the proper pronunciation of these pests. I naively referred to them as SILL-ids and was corrected. It is sil-LIDS. Learn something new every day!

Thanks again for posting this thread.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Here are some photos I managed to catch. They're not the cleareset, but that's the best my cellphone camera can do and you can get a general idea of the color. I guess they're not so much "red" as they are brown, but they're definitely not the same color as the ones I found last year (I'm finding some of those in the garden too, but not as many as these brown guys.)

Red psyllid 4
Red psyllid 1


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

My eyes aren't what they used to be. It's hard to make out any detail. But, the color alone does resemble the adult psyllids in the second Colo State Univ. photo I posted above. I think I read that they get darker with age.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

So far, all I am seeing in terms of pests, are some "Hot Pink" Aphids on occasion:

Photobucket

Guess this is to be expected since I live 35 miles south of the Castro District in San Francisco.

Sevin seems to be taking care of them - but I have a bottle of Permethrin standing by.....

Raybo


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Wow, remind me not to eat while I look through this thread, lol. Going over all these bug photos really kicks my squeamishness into high gear!

Drift, the ones I saw last year were definitely a different color than these - it's not so much dark vs. light as it is brown vs. gray, but I do think maybe it has something to do with what stage in their lifecycle they are. I may have primarily been seeing older or younger ones, and maybe that's why I've spotted some with "normal" coloring, and these newbies with the reddish cast. The details are indeed difficult to make out, but you can see the shape and the telltale white band. If the wind hadn't been so fierce, I may have been able to get a better shot. I think I'll try to trap some in a bag like the last time, and see if I can get a clear shot, but my camera's macro mode is really lousy.

Ray, LOL @ your hot pink aphid! I had a few of those this year too, and marveled at the color...right before I squashed them. They were all in the middle of giving birth to babies, who also got squished. Death during labor and delivery - brutal.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Raybo -- that would be downwind from Castro, right? LOL. I found a pink one on my tomatillo plant a while back. Since then, they've all been green.

spaghetina -- my macro doesn't work well either. I just use the Max possible pixel setting and then crop the photo down to the subject.

Aphids and hoverfly larva - yikes! (but fascinating!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-WWU4Vy6ec

Here is one that isn't in fast forward (less scary)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tv1g91kavY


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Yep, As the Aphid flys....

Raybo


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

Thanks for the followup, everyone.

Things looked pretty good on the psyllid front until today when I found some eggs on lower leaves -- no juveniles or adults though, but I'm sure they're hiding out somewhere. A couple of my plants are looking more and more droopy, but not sure if it's the psyllid yellows setting in, the recent change in weather or what. I'll just keep being vigilant as possible, with spinosad at the ready!


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

What have you been doing when you find eggs? The first time I found them, I tried a strong spray of water as recommended by the guy at the nursery (who happened to know nothing about psyllids, but surmised that since it worked on aphids and whiteflies, it'd probably work on them too. (Wrong.) Then I started trying to rub them off with gloved hands, but they hang on so freaking well that my attempts were futile. Nowadays, I break off the leaves and crush them under my feet until all that remains is a green skid mark on my driveway.

FWIW, rubbing at the eggs with bare hands isn't any more effective than doing it with gloves on. Short of plucking them off with my fingernails, I don't think they're apt to budge, and I refuse to pick them off because the thought of those minuscule things possibly being lodged under my nails skeeves me out to no end.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

I picked off the leaf, let it dry out in the afternoon sun, then threw it into the green waste bin (municipal composting, not my home composter!). I hope that if the leaves are already a wilted mess when I toss them into the green waste, that if the eggs do hatch the nymphs won't have anything to feed on. I guess it might be better to feed the leaves to my chickens, but I'm not sure if the eggs would just pass right on through and potentially be hatching all over my backyard!!

Those eggs are so small I'm not sure picking or rubbing would even hurt them -- pesky things.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

  • Posted by dgbeig SanFran -z10 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 11, 10 at 12:05

Ugh, those pictures are creepy....except for the hot pink bug, which is pretty!

Would have never known about these had you not posted. so thank you.

Would/Could they go after strawberry plants?
I went to one of my planters last night and as I harvested berries, many of this size bug started flying around. I checked for eggs on leaves and to get a better glimpse.

are they limited to potatoes and tomatoes?


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

I think these prefer tomatoes and potatoes, but will hang out on anything in the nightshade family (as evidenced by my ground cherries being targeted in the last couple days >:( ). They shouldn't be an issue with strawberries, so I'm not sure what your buggies are, but it's possible they could be winged aphids or maybe thrips. If you have photos, it makes it easier to nail down, but I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination.


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

  • Posted by suprneko 9b/sunset 16 NorCal, (My Page) on
    Thu, May 31, 12 at 0:17

Oh no, I have tomato psyllids! Ughhr. I just notice my Early Girl looking curly leafed and purple veined, then I remembered seeing one leaf last week with what I now know is the "sugar". UGH. I'll check for the bugs tomorrow. I saw a bunch of what I thought were aphids the other day on the Green Zebra next to it, maybe they were the nymphs. hmm.

Ugh, I read an article that recommended Sevin, then another that said it could increase the pests. I'm seeing mentions of spinosad, lime sulfur, malathion. Any recommendations?? I'm hitting OSH first thing in the morning!!


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

suprneko - I got psyllids last year (and did not know it until it was a hopeless battle). When I found eggs again this year I was devastated, but i think i found them in time. First I tried spinosad (since it's "organic" and beneficial bug friendly), but even after 3 or 4 applications, i was still finding new eggs and living, jumping adults. Next I ordered ortho's bug-b-gon max, and that seemed to do the trick after one application. my new leaves are no longer purple veined and the older leaves are not curling anymore. it's been more than a week and still no appearence of eggs/nymphs/adults/sugar poop.

after buying the stuff on amazon, i saw it's half the price at home depot. There is a downside though... bees are super sensitive to the stuff... sorry bees... but i have mostly wasps...

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100355795/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=ortho+bug&storeId=10051#BVRRWidgetID


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RE: Tomato Psyllids - do you have them (and not know it)?

I realize this is a late post to this thread, but the most effective organic control against psyllids is Azadarachtin. It does not harm beneficials and has 3 modes of action. It does not kill them on contact, but rather by upsetting the molting to the next stage in nymphs and eggs, and acting as an anti-feedant in adults. It is available in several trade names, Azatin XL is one, Azatrol is another. If you are organic gardening you really do not want to use Spinosad or some of the other chemicals mentioned here because you will upset the beneficial insect population and cause more problems. I first got psyllids a few years ago here in northern california and with our mild winters they are overwintering. Check the undersides of your leaves early and often. Spraying the undersides of the leaves with azadarachtin a few times if you have them will keep it in check by upsetting the 3 life stages of the psyllids. The UC IPM web site really needs to update their information to include more effective controls such as this. It took me awhile to read some commercial grower studies that noted Aza as quite effective. I use it exclusively in my garden for any pests when I can't completely rely on my beneficials for control.


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