British Columbia: What are these bug like things on my vegetables and blueberry plants?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Pjones, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Pjones

    Pjones New Member

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    I live in Vancouver and I have tomato, rhubarb, and blueberry plants that have a ton of these little black leaf shaped things on them that stick to the leaves and tomatoes on the plants. Is anyone here able to identify what these are or know how to control them? They don't appear to be doing harm to the plants from what I can see but they are all over the place on these plants. We had a very hard rain last night so I think there are less in the photo than what there have been prior to the rainfall. It doesn't look like they move so I'm questioning if it's the droppings of another insect but I cant see anything else on the plants...

    Any help you can provide is very much appreciated.
     

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  2. Pjones

    Pjones New Member

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    I had to look hard, for some reason they are far and few between, but I was able to find only one on the Persimmon tree that is right next to the Rhubarb that is infested with them. makes me think they are not falling from something... but got me wondering if its a seed from my over grown grass next to it. They seem to make it roughly 2 feet high if I recall. I'll need to have another look closer in the light next time i'm out there...

    They seem to brush off of the tomatoes fairly easy but when i touch them on the leaves they seem to be stuck there pretty good before detaching.
     

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  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Look at them with a magnifier, if they are seeds they will be firm and of course have no heads or legs etc. Also there will be a source plant producing them nearby, close enough for them to be getting scattered over your plants. Probably something that shoots the seeds out of the fruits when touched, explaining thereby the dispersal pattern on your plants.

    If they are instead some kind of resting stage of an insect they should be soft, have some means by which they are secured in place, on the host plant. Also it is not likely that a single insect species would infest all these different kinds of plants - unless your plants are merely being used as a place to sit, until the next stage develops.
     
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  4. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

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    Until reading a comment on The Garden Professors' website a moment ago (Landscape fabric – a cautionary tale), I had never before heard of artillery fungus
    (Sphaerobulus stellatus) but the spots it produces look similar to those in your photographs s
    o it may be worth checking as a possible cause. There are a number of websites you could look at. MSU Plant and Pest Diagnostic Services mentions that the spores can be thrown up to 6 meters.
     
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  5. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    These brown spots are definitely not spores of some fungi. They have very distinct structure and shape and are too large, therefore can't be a random dose of spores.
    These are either some insects (for instance, Coccoidea, or eggs of some larger insects) or some seeds. I favor for insects - some species of genus Margarodes (Coccoidea) are very similar (only much smaller) to the ribbed brown spots on the photos, like the Porphyrophora+hamelii: Porphyrophora hamelii - Google Search

    Cerococcus deklei is hosting on trees and schrubs, not recorded on grasses, but is still very similar. Maybe this pest is falling to your rhubarbs and tomatoes from neighbouring trees?
    Scale Insects: Fact sheet

    Conchaspis angraeci
    orchid scale (Conchaspis angraeci )
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  6. Pjones

    Pjones New Member

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    I don't have a very powerful magnifier but I'll see what I can muster up to have a closer look, thats a great idea. I'll post some close up photos if I can manage the two devices together, and let you know if I see any appendages or if I can pick it apart with a knife to see the inside.

    There is no landscape fabric in that area, but thanks for the article, soil quality is a good consideration. I just planted all the plants in these beds this year and the soil was turned at that time. There is a fair amount of organic mater mixed in and drainage is pretty good.

    I'll have a look as some of the google images that Sulev suggested and see if anything similar pops up. but before I can do that I need to get the kids to bed.

    Thanks for the replies, I hope to have more updates soon :)
     
  7. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019 at 10:16 PM

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