Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TOMATO HORNWORMS OH MY

Noticed that a few leaves were stripped on one of the tomato plants and some fruit had parts eaten off.  I immediately started looking for critters...

Green Hornworm Caterpillar 
...and sure enough, I found one...

Tomato Hornworm
...and then two!   That was all though, I checked the plants thoroughly.  Ugh, I hate these things.  Masters of disguise and they are so creepy looking.  They can destroy a tomato plant.  I picked them off and "dispatched" them.  

They didn't do much damage from last weekend to this so I think I'm OK until next weekend.  I also saw a few red and black spidery looking bugs.  I had some spray on soap mix that I used on both plants and that seemed to take care of them, but I'll have to do some more research.

Anyone have any suggestions? 

16 comments:

Mo said...

in future years, if you can spare one sacrifice tomato plant for the catepillers, these turn into beautiful sphinx moths that look like hummingbirds at dusk in your flower garden. really worth the effort to spare them.

Linda said...

From WIKI: Tomato hornworms fluoresce differently from tomato leaves. Using an ultraviolet light source of 375 nm and viewed behind a blue-blocking filter (yellow or amber filter), a tomato hornworm fluoresces in bright green while a tomato leaf appears deep red/amber.[citation needed] This sharp color contrast helps gardeners locate tomato hornworms at night. They can be reduced by planting marigold flowers around these plants.

Linda said...

Also, I think what you have there is/was a Tobacco Hornworm. They are very similar to the Tomato Hornworm. You can tell the two apart because the tobacco hornworm has diagonal white stripes, and the tomato hornworm has v-shaped white markings on its sides. Also, the "horn" on the tomato hornworm is black or dark green, while that of the tobacco hornworm is red.

Linda said...

Google is my friend :) and I have more spare time than you have for investigating these things :D

Colleen said...

I'm not too fond of them nasty critters either.
Tomato insect invasion: https://www.google.com/search?q=tomato+fruitworm&biw=1536&bih=787&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwiCg-C-5v_NAhVm5YMKHQRuAHgQsAQIIQ&dpr=1.25

Hornworms: http://www.almanac.com/pest/tomato-hornworms

Tomato fruitworm and corn worm http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/insects/caterpillars/tomato-fruitworm-corn-earworm.aspx

How to control tomato fruitworms: http://www.tomatodirt.com/tomato-fruitworms.html

kymber said...

keep them to yourself please! i have heard horror stories about hornworms destroying tomatoe crops but have never seen one in real life *knocking on wood and crossing fingers and toes*

Linda and Colleen above seem to have some good info for you!

sending much love, as always! your friend,
kymber

jaz@octoberfarm said...

it must be horn worm season. i picked two of those huge suckers off of a decimated tomato plant. they are soooo gross and huge! i found a dead mother that one turned into in my yard and it was the size of a small bird. ugh!

donna baker said...

Keep watching for the hornworms. They are masters of disguise. They get a quick snip with the scissors here. The fish wouldn't eat them.

Peggi said...

I used BT (http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/5344/bacillus-thuringiensis-a-natural-and-safe-microbial-pesticide) this year and it really helped. I usually pick them off and dispose of them when I see them. The problem with that is that they are so hard to see. By the next day the ones I missed have usually eaten a lot of the plant. I sprayed the plants with BT when I noticed some damage and it stopped them in their tracks. I am still getting tomatoes and usually by this time of year they are done and pulled out. (I live in Vegas and it is hot hot hot.)

Gail said...

They make good fish bait!

The Cranky said...

Haven't seen any here yet, but I'm keeping my eyes open.

Sarah said...

You can see about buying some lady bugs to release into your garden. Good luck!

Practical Parsimony said...

If you see a tomato horn worm with little white cocoons all over it, let it live. The braconid wasp has laid eggs or whatever. Those little wasps will burrow into the tomato horn worm, eating its insides and emerging as a wasp that eats garden pests.

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

I hate when nature is creepy and disgusting...ugh!

1st Man said...

Thanks for that suggestion. Actually, I should see what else they eat, with our acreage, I wouldn't mind relocating them far away. Thanks for that!

1st Man said...

Wow, they fluoresce? That's kinda cool. I was going to do marigolds but with the rains I missed getting them in. Thanks for this info!