UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page

UC IPM Home

SKIP navigation

 

How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Tomato bug.

Tomato

Tomato Bug

Scientific Name: Cyrtopeltis modesta

(Reviewed 1/07, updated 1/07)

In this Guideline:


DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST

The tomato bug is a slender plant bug, about 0.25 inch long, with long legs and a light green body. Eggs are inserted into stems. Nymphs resemble adults but are smaller and lack wings.

DAMAGE

The tomato bug is also known as the tomato suck bug because both nymphs and adults will insert their long mouthparts into the stem to feed. Rings develop around stems at these feeding sites. The rings are thickened corky areas that become yellow to reddish. The stem is weakened and brittle at these rings and can easily break when touched, causing blossom drop, dropping of young fruit, and breakage of vine stems.

Tomato bugs are common in tomato fields throughout the Central Valley and in southern California, but they do not typically cause economic damage to bush-type processing or fresh market tomato plants where fruit are picked only once. They have been observed on occasion in great abundance on commercially grown pole tomatoes, in greenhouse culture, and in back yard gardens. Economic damage has been observed in pole and greenhouse plantings when blossoms drop and vines break at feeding sites when they are contacted by workers moving past the plants.

MANAGEMENT

Tomato bugs are usually first noticed in mid-summer, and their populations continue to grow into fall, when treatments may become necessary. In general, treatments are not recommended except when high densities occur in pole or greenhouse tomato plantings which are picked multiple times. Although no research has been conducted on control it is believed that most insecticides used to control lygus bugs or stink bugs will also control the tomato bug.

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Tomato
UC ANR Publication 3470
Insects and Mites
F. G. Zalom, Entomology, UC Davis
J. T. Trumble, Entomology, UC Riverside
C. F. Fouche, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County
C. G. Summers, Entomology, UC Davis/Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
Acknowledgments for contributions to the insects and mites section:
N. C. Toscano, Entomology, UC Riverside

Top of page


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/r783301811.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.