Pest Damage to Fruit at Harvest
On this page
- Alfalfa mosaic virus
- Blackmold lesions
- Bacterial speck lesions
- Bacterial spot lesions
- Late blight discoloration
- Tomato spotted wilt virus
- Armyworm damage
- Flea beetles damage
- Lygus bug damage
- Stink bug damage
- Tomato fruitworm damage
Monitor fruit damage at harvest to identify pests
that escaped your management program. Look for the presence or
any evidence of armyworms, fruitworms, stink bugs, lygus, bacterial
spot and speck, spotted wilt, buckeye rot, blights and molds,
and keep a record of particular problems that you observe. Knowledge
of the current year's problems will help you plan for next year’s
practices. There are no state mandated rejection levels for pest
damage or fruit defects in the harvested crop. Tolerances are
set by individual buyers.
Use the photos below to distinguish among symptoms due to various
molds and insects. Names link to
more information on identification and management.
Click on photos to enlarge
Alfalfa mosaic virus
Identification tip: Some fruit infected with alfalfa mosaic
virus develop a solid brown necrosis over the surface.
Identification tip: Damaged fruit have
black or brown lesions, brown flecks, and can develop sunken
Bacterial speck lesions
Identification tip: Fruit lesions are slightly raised
and small, varying in size from tiny flecks to 0.125 inch
in diameter. Fruit lesions are superficial, seldom penetrating
more than a few cells deep.
Bacterial spot lesions
Identification tip: Spots become brown and scabby
as fruit ripens.
Late blight discoloration
Identification tip: Damaged fruit are
discolored with a brown surface and often remain firm.
Tomato spotted wilt virus
tip: Symptoms of tomato spotted wilt virus on ripe fruit include
chlorotic spots and blotches, often with concentric rings.
Beet armyworm or western
yellowstriped armyworm damage
Identification tip: Look for shallow dry scars where
armyworm fed on the surface.
Flea beetles damage
Identification tip: Flea beetles may feed directly
on ripe fruit, just below the calyx. Damage is usually seen
only in very late-season plantings where leaves are senescing
due to maturity, lack of water, or powdery mildew. Damage
from fruit beetles may result in offgrade fruit.
Lygus bug damage
Identification tip: Damage is similar to that of stink
bug damage. The area below the feeding site, however, dries
out instead of becoming corky, causing the surface of the
fruit to crack slightly. Therefore, damage is not as apparent.
Stink bug damage
Identification tip: Damage on ripe
fruit causes yellow irregular blotches.
Stink bugs inject a yeast, causing fruit to become watery.
Tomato fruitworm damage
Identification tip: Look for water cavities contaminated
with feces. Damage is caused by tunneling into fruit.
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