The Q&A Archives: Green Bugs Eating My Tomato Leaves

Question: I am hoping you can assist me with identifying the bug that is consuming my tomato leaves. The bug is green in color. It has a hard shell and can fly. When the bug is on the tomato stem, it looks like two small tomato leaves. When I try to get the bug with my fingers, it quickly moves around the stem or flies away. I'm assuming this bug is consuming my tomato leaves because I have no other insects devouring my plant (not even tomato worms). Thank you for your assistance.

Answer: If the bug in question is long rather than round or oval like a beetle, my guess is it's the California Timema. These are generally pests of native west coast trees, but I suppose they might eat the leaves of a tomato plant. Males often hitchike on the backs of the females, giving the insect pair a leaf-like appearance. There is no registered control for the pest so your best defense is to pick them off the plant. Thank goodness they're not eating the fruit!

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