My Tomatoes Develop Black Spots And Rot After Being Picked

Q: This summer I had beautiful tomato plants with loads of fruit. Problem is, after I pick them they begin to get blackish spots and rot right away. 

A: Your symptoms sound like you have stink bugs or leaf-footed bugs in the garden. Both insects insert a piercing, sucking mouthpart into a tomato skin and suck out the juice. This can introduce bacteria inside the tomato, which causes quick rotting. Look online for pictures of both bugs in all stages of life and keep a sharp eye out in June next year. It is easy to control them when they are young, using a garden insecticide. It’s a much tougher job when they are mature.