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Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

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    Our early tomato crop was going so well this year, but in the last few weeks (during rainy weather) the bushes have developed Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) – some of the fruit is still edible but I’m about to rip out the remaining plants.

    I understand that TSWV is transmitted through insects (mainly thrips), not seed, but am wondering what I can do to prevent it spreading to the late tomato bushes that are only just starting to flower? Thrips are attracted to white/yellow flowers so would it help if I removed all the buds on the new plants, say for a week or so, after pulling out all the infected bushes? Also, what to do with the infected bushes – TSWV doesn’t spread through soil or seed, so can I compost them, or do I need to put them in the landfill bin?

    Thanks for your help!


    I would not compost them.

    good luck with stopping the spread. it is heart breaking I know. I lost all my early tomatoes to infection. It can spread through the soil. (locally). i dont think removing the buds will help. You can’t spray for virus so you just need to keep pest numbers under control and make sure your remaining tomatoes are as healthy as can be.



    Thanks for posting that now I know whats wrong with all mine! I pulled them all out on the weekend and put them in the council green bin just incase.

    Can this affect eggplants do you know?


    I have suffered for yrs with every tomato pest & disease but I was recommended a product that others have had success with. Last yr I resorted to huge tubs with commercial soil etc. no overhead water but still they were at deaths door by this time.

    There are varities that are more resistant but not watering the leaves etc & spraying every 3 wks the plants still look pretty healthy considering all the heat we have had here.

    I have also found putting them in the ground no earlier than Melb. cup wkend has helped too!

    “Beat’a Bug” is the product that was recommended & it comes in one of those painful hand pump spray bottles & is only available at Bunnings or Big W. A garlic pyrethum mix.



    Thanks for the ideas 🙂

    I try not to use sprays Jewels, as a broad spectrum spray like pyrethrum can wipe out good bugs as well as pests, but thankyou for your experience. Perhaps if this happens every year I might need to consider close monitoring for thrips and spraying at targetted times.

    Starruby I’m not sure about eggplants – I wondered that too as I didn’t see them on the lists of affected plants when I was skimming the net but they are the same family as tomatoes, potatoes and capsicum, so you’d think that they might.


    We have just had a bumper crop of tommies lucky so far no viruses. BUT now heatwave has just wrecked what is left. Will not whinge as I have been able to collect heaps prior to heatwave. I don’t use sprays whatsoever just plenty of tomatoe food and watering.


    After yrs. & yrs. of being adament I would not use sprays & having my tomatoes turn there toes up just after Christmas I thought I would give it one season of using something. 10 – 12 yrs of choosing the most resistant varieties, growing my own from seed & last yr. planting them in tubs with all new soil & no overhead watering & still they died.:p

    I know about the bees & other insects but to be honest I haven’t seen any around when I have been spraying early in the morning once every 3 wks. & it is just a hand pump spray!

    Besdies we have lived where we are now 27 yrs. & have basically used the same 10 metre by 12 metre plot, so there is only so much rotating you can do!:uhoh:

    After a fortnight of over 35C & 40+ weather my tomatoes look just fine & the shadecloth has been a gawd send! Everyone else says there tomatoe plants have fried & with water restrictions limiting water I think the fact I have plants standing is a miracle!

    DDT it’s not, the product is garlic, chilli & pyrethum & seems much more the former than the later:metal:.

    I am not recommending others go down the same road just letting people know the results I have had. It’s all about choice in the end & I think I was trying to be a martyr sacrficing all my hard work from seed to plant & precious water with no result!:(

    If you can get a good crop of tomatoes without using any sort of treatment you don’t know how lucky you are!:)


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