Odd clusters of eggs and black poop dots on tomato plant

Madison, WI

This is my first year gardening. Its been great but I discovered an obstacle. Near the tomato plant is a cluster of light brownish white eggs that are connected like a bee/wasp cluster. I popped one open and a gooey white thing comes out. Others have small black things in.

I'm worried because my tomato plant near it has these little black dots on which I can scrape off. They are like poop from something. I dont see anything on the plant.

Im also getting japanese beetles about but I think this is a different problem.... Please help!

I tried looking on google but couldnt quite find what I was looking for. How do I best deal with this?

I will get a picture up of it soon! Thanks in advance...

Madison, WI

Forgot to mention that some of the clusters have hatched. But still I see no bug or anything around....

Madison, WI

They are on the garden soil not on the tomato plant.

Barnesville, GA(Zone 7b)

Not sure about the clusters you mentioned, however, the black stuff you mention sounds a lot like what you've already identified as .............POOP. The tomato hornworm leaves that poop and they are the exact green as your leaves and hard to see. I've plucked them off and thrown into the pond for the frogs.........bad me!!

Madison, WI

I looked at some videos online. I see that the black poop from hornworm is big and in clusters. The black dots I see are one or little dots per leaf spread out.

The pictures will be up when a friend with cam emails me them.

Madison, WI

some pics are slightly blurry....

Thumbnail by britishbloke
Madison, WI

here are the small black dots

Thumbnail by britishbloke
Barnesville, GA(Zone 7b)

Check with your county agricultural extension agent......you can email your pics to them.

Glen Ellyn, IL(Zone 5b)

I'm afraid those photos are not clear enough for firm ID

Madison, WI

I found out what this is. Thanks everyone for your help.

Its called Birds Nest Fungus. Doesn't hurt the plants. But the black spots on the tomato plant are due to the fungus pods bursting open and spreading there seeds.

Now if only I had a good solution for killing those japanese beetles...

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

We use Sevin here. It is recommended by Dr. Dirt who is on TV, gives answers to questions, and sends out seasonal emails. Spray the critters and spray the plants. They don't like eating this stuff. Be sure don't squash them because that releases their fermones and will just draw more. Same with the traps. Be sure to get them right away because they can do a lot of damage.

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