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Giant tomato worm!

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by mattjm1017, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Does anybody know what this is? I picked seven of them off my tomatoes today they're about 2-4 Inches long and really hard to spot. Is there a good all natural way to get rid of/prevent them?

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  2. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

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    Tomato Hornworms.

    My method of control is pulling them off the plants and feeding them to my ducks. They don't last long once the ducks get a hold of them.
    mattjm1017 likes this.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  4. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Cut in half with pruners or pull off and step on them.

    If they are loaded with little white egg casings some suggest leaving them be as that is a natural parasite.

    I've seen them eat pepper leaves too.
    mattjm1017 likes this.
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe you can find a recipe for them...? :rolleyes:
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  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    They turn into a big moths
    moth1.JPG moth2.jpg
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  7. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks guys Ill be spending the weekend picking them off. Every time I go past the tomatoes I find another one or two now to find a way to naturally prevent them if there is such a thing.
  8. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Pick, toss, squash, repeat. I don't know of a way to prevent them.
  9. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    OK, this solution depends on what you think of pesticides.

    Permethrin is a insecticide originally produced from chrysanthemums. Same thing used in Ortho Home defense, horse spray, and most flea and tick drops and sprays used on dogs, and when you buy clothing labeled as Insect repellent, Permethrin usually has been heat treated into the fabric. Incidentally you can make your clothing insect repellent on your own by spraying the clothing allowing it to air dry and "fixing" it by tossing it in a preheated dryer for a couple of min. The cheapest way to buy it is in horse spray concentrate from a farm store. Mix up some in a hand spray bottle. I use it on the dog, around the house, on my clothes, and in the garden whenever I see the telltale signs of the Hornworm. It is non toxic for human and and dogs but kills fish and makes cats sick. last for about 6 weeks around the house/foundation, week or two on the dog, abut a month on plants
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  10. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    If you see the moths, squish them too. They lay the eggs.

    Mom used to put moth ball in & around the garden,
    don't know though.
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  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Same caterpillar as the corn earworm, hornworm. One of those can defoliate a tomato plant in no time. I've never had more than three one season on my plants, and that was bad enough. Generally there aren't enough to make just handpicking and drowning in soapy water or squishing a problem. They blend in, but once you know they are there they aren't hard to find. And once they've been there about 1/2 hour they are darn easy to find thanks to their rapid defoliation.

    IF you have lots of them, you can try bug juice. Pick as many as you can find, put them in a blender (a junk one, not one you use for food), add water and blend. Dilute and spray on the tomato plants. The idea is that they will contain and spread diseases that the hornworm is susceptible to. Works with most bugs. Will get any it touches, and will wash off the plants with the rains...which should be almost immediately this year.
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  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Remember those as a kid. Mom would toss 'em into the driveway and I ran 'em over with my bike. ;lol
  13. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Just found one covered in big white bumps Ill leave it and see what happens I hit two with a propane torch today and squished a bunch yesterday. My step mom said to cover my plants with sevin dust but I just cant stand the thought of pouring that stuff directly on something Im going to eat. I know all the stuff from the store has been chemically treated but thats why I wash the hell out of it and dont eat the skins of most fruits and veggies.
  14. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I saw one of those moths yesterday when I was almost 50' up in a red maple. Went to grab a branch and reposition myself for making a cut and I grabbed it, it was blended in with the bark so good you really had to look to find it. It was around 3-4 inches long.....I knew it wasn't a luna moth, but was unsure what it was until I saw this thread......

    I left the damm thing live, had I known what it was I would have eradicated it.....
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  15. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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  16. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I know that's what the books say...leave the hornworm when it is like that cause all those beneficial wasps will hatch...meanwhile, how much of the tomato plant/how many tomato plants will the things eat before it dies? No one tells you that....
  17. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    If I found one with eggs, I'd just put it away from my tomatoes and let them hatch there.

    I use Dipel dust- an organic method, and I have only seen one in the several years that I've used this- and it was sickly and twitching. MWUHAHAhaha

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