Anyone know what these little black bugs with white stripes on their back are? (There's a larger version — please click the picture) They seem to be all over a few of my tomato plants and multiplying, but it's not obvious what harm they're doing to the plant, if any. I don't see them on any of my pepper plants, but not sure if that's just because they haven't reached them yet.

What's weird is when I go pick them off with tweezers they seem like they're dead already, since there's absolutely zero reaction. Not sure if they just have a super short lifespan or if there's something about tomato's trichomes that serve as a sort of natural defense.

Any help and suggestions on how to deal with them, in case they are harmful, would be very welcome!

Little back bugs

1 Answer 1


I came across your post while searching for the answer as well... You may have already found the answer since your post was from last year, but they are thrips! They are horrible pests. Neem oil can help get rid of them, but only spray the plants with neem oil once the sun has started setting since the oil can burn the leaves if the plants are sprayed during the daytime under direct sunlight.

  • Thank you! I actually hadn't gotten an answer so I really appreciate you chiming in.
    – dekaliber
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 20:54
  • Hey, thanks for the bit about not putting the neem oil on in direct sunlight. I was, and yep, the thrips were dying but so were the plants.
    – aecend
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 21:45

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