My tomatoes have been slowly developing black spots on the leaves for a while now. I cant figure out what is causing it. I also just found some tiny bugs all over the plant today, but I can’t figure out what they are either.A photo of a couple leaves, covered with spots A photo of black spots on a tomato leafA photo of the bugs on my plant, they are very small and black with a yellow arrow on their backs I couldn’t get a very good picture of the bugs because they’re so small, but they are black with a yellow arrow shape on their backs. They aren’t very active, as far as I’ve seen they don’t move at all. Also, I am in Oregon if that helps.

  • After doing some research, the bugs look a lot like insidious flower bugs. I’m thinking this might mean I have aphids, but I’m not sure aphids would be causing the spots.
    – user36287
    Jul 16, 2021 at 1:06
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    Have the leaves been getting wet? Did you put anything on them before the symptoms occurred? Jul 16, 2021 at 2:31
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    The leaves could definitely be getting wet from watering. I did not put anything else on the leaves.
    – user36287
    Jul 16, 2021 at 2:46

1 Answer 1


First, I'd like to give you a big thumb's up for researching the insects you saw rather than just going "On no, Bugs!" and blasting them with the nearest pesticide. According to North Carolina State University, insidious flower bugs are a great control for thrips.

The damage to the leaves does look like it was done by thrips, so you could easily have made the condition much, much worse by killing off their predators! As it stands, the insidious flower bugs are probably your best defense against the thrips that you have, as they are difficult to eliminate with non-systemic pesticides. These pesticides also kill the insects that pollinate your tomatoes. Over time, the population of the insidious flower bugs should increase to match that of the thrips, and the leaf damage should stop as the thrips population decreases due to predation.

Much more information about thrips (written from a greenhouse production point of view, however). Based on this information, I think you may have Echinothrips americanus thrips.

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