TOP TOMATO PESTS - PART 5 OF 6: Tomato Hornworms

Tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata)
Tomato HornwormTomato Hornworm
  • Identification: They can measure up to 4 inches in length. Small tomato hornworms are yellow to white in color with no markings where large hornworms develop white, "V-shaped" marks on each side. They also have a black "horns" on their last abdominal segment. Tomato hornworm caterpillars feed initially on the upper portions of the plants destroying several leaves as well as the fruit. 
  • Plan of Attack
    • Plants should be examined at least 2x per week during the summer.
    • Keep your garden as weed free as possible, to discourage egg laying on weeds.
    • Till the soil after harvest to destroy burrowing caterpillars and pupae.

    • Most effective means of managing by handpicking hornworms from infested plants. Just throw them into soapy water to kill them.

    • There are many natural enemies of the tomato hornworm such as lady beetles and green lacewings. They prey upon the egg stage and on young caterpillars.

       

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