The Q&A Archives: Unidentified Pest

Question: I am a new vegetable gardener, and have a new plot this year with some composted soil I had trucked in. Throughout the garden there are these small brown disks about 1/4" across that look like miniature acorns, filled with black pests that look like shiny black sesame seeds. These "seeds" attach themselves like barnacles to my plant leaves (top or bottom) such as basil, corn. They look like they have a little white "root" extending from their bodies. No one here seems to know what they are or if they are harmful and/or must be controlled. Any help?

Answer: I think you may be describing shot hole or artillery fungus. It can be imported with mulch. Although it will not particularly hurt your plants, it may damage painted and other surfaces. You might find the two web pages listed below helpful in making the determination if that is indeed it:


If that does not seem to be it, you might want to contact your local county extension for help in identifying it. Their telephone number is 255-5522.

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