Tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata)
- 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.