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July 6th  2011    Tim Candler

    Stinkbugs suck on things.  They have a tiny mouth part, like a little straw.   When feeding on Tomato, Stinkbugs inject a pinprick of venom that kills cells, and these cells become like acne scars which turn yellow or stay green when a Tomato ripens.

    The damage Stinkbugs cause is closer to blemish than it is to destruction.  And no doubt with proper attention and vast sums of money, the reputation of Stinkbug could be enhanced to the point where gourmands would insist all their Tomato be  "Stinkbugged Tomato."

       Psyllids and Thrips also have tiny mouth parts, and these tiny mouth parts also inject venom while the dear little creatures are feeding on Tomato leaves.  But Psyllids and Thrips carry diseases that leave Tomato vulnerable to fungal and bacterial agents that produce necrotic spot and canker in both the Tomato and the Gardener .

     Stinkbugs are all over the place, they potter about their business and even when small are usually very evident and are often cheerful when chased.  But Psyllids and Thrips have endless life stages and generally when Psyllids and Thrips are large enough to be evident it's too late.

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