Insects - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Leanne
Simi Valley, CA
Question by msleeann
August 14, 1998
While watering my tomatoes this morning I noticed severel small insects on the leaves (I think it is an insect). The insect was black and about the size of a grain of rice with almost a cyclinder shape. There was no damage to the leaves around this thing and it did not move when I touched it. My question this an insect or the droppings of another creature that I cannot see? I have noticed these same things on my petunias as well.

Answer from NGA
August 14, 1998


Sounds more like droppings than a real, live insect. You might check the undersides of the leaves and the stems of both plants for caterpillars. Their droppings are usually pellet-shaped, and the more they feed, the more droppings they leave.

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