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Tomato Horn Worm ? ID - Page 3 Empty Tomato Horn Worms!

Post  countrynaturals on 6/24/2016, 10:58 pm

Tomato Horn Worm ? ID - Page 3 671790 They got into my pepper plants! GRRRRRR!!!! Thank goodness I checked before they got them all, but now what do I do? Cut the plant back to nothing? Just cut off the chewed peppers and hope for the best? Something else?
Tomato Horn Worm ? ID - Page 3 Pepper10
Going back out, now, to see if I missed any of the nasty, creepy things. (I'll probably have nightmares, tonight. Mad)
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Post  sanderson on 6/25/2016, 3:26 am

What a Face  Yikes!  They hit them bad.  You can spray with a BT solution, or for future preventive measure, cover tightly with tight netting or bridal tulle.  I have cabbage caterpillars and squash bugs on my tomato plants!

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Post  camprn on 6/25/2016, 7:09 am

Bump

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Post  countrynaturals on 6/25/2016, 9:50 am

@sanderson wrote:What a Face  Yikes!  They hit them bad.  You can spray with a BT solution, or for future preventive measure, cover tightly with tight netting or bridal tulle.  I have cabbage caterpillars and squash bugs on my tomato plants!
I guess I need to be more vigilant -- I lost 7 little peppers in just 4 hours.  Sad No more damage this morning at least. Smile  I don't want to spray anything out there. I know what cabbage caterpillars look like, but I'm not familiar with squash bugs. Time for another "search." geek
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Post  CapeCoddess on 6/25/2016, 4:04 pm

Hornworms eat peppers?  Shocked Crud! Well, they'll have to get by my braconid wasps first.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/25/2016, 8:12 pm

Devastating.  I feel your pain.  I got 2 peppers off my 2 plants, and they were the ones already established from the big box store...that is it.  

Maters did better.....and hopefully this year will be even better!

Hang on, baby!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 6/25/2016, 8:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added)
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Post  camprn on 6/26/2016, 12:48 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:Hornworms eat peppers?  Shocked Crud! Well, they'll have to get by my braconid wasps first.
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And aubergine plants too.

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Post  countrynaturals on 6/26/2016, 10:49 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Devastating.  I feel your pain.  I got 2 peppers off my 2 plants, and they were the ones already established from the big box store...that is it.  
That's where these came from. I have yet to get a pepper seed to sprout, but I will keep trying (I think my current seeds came from a bad source.) Sad
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Post  bigdogrock on 6/26/2016, 2:18 pm

Hey Country Naturals, you gave me an idea with your last post. I started to do some research on the dreaded tomato horn-worm (THW). Maybe if I know what they look like in their other forms I would be able to deal with them a little better. So now I am looking for the moths and the pupae. After going back over this thread I see some of the wonderful folks on this site have given some info and pics, I hope to add to that info to help out others.
I tend to look every night for my local summertime resident bats. They do real damage to mosquitoes. In the time I am looking for the bats I get to see numerous other nighttime creatures. Big moths always fly through my flashlight beams. Sometimes when I am working in the barn at night the moths come into the barn to the lights. Some can be pretty, especially the Luna and other hawk type moths. The THW moths (Manduca quinquemaculata) is a brown and gray five-spotted hawkmoth.

Here is a pic I got off of the internet, these moths are kind of large, with a wing span average of 4-5 inches,(a dollar bill is just a little over 6 inches.)

Tomato Horn Worm ? ID - Page 3 800px-10

I don't know how many of the pupae I have run across in all my years of gardening, but I always crush what I now know are the pupae of horn worms, they can get to be just under 2 inches long, here is a pic:

Tomato Horn Worm ? ID - Page 3 Tomato10

So now I am a little better prepared to fight these horrible pests. Thanks.
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Post  countrynaturals on 6/26/2016, 4:32 pm

The moths are magnificent, BigDog. Actually, so are the worms. It's a real shame they do so much damage. I hate to destroy almost any of Nature's wonderful creatures, but these guys are a sad exception. Sad
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Post  sanderson on 9/2/2017, 4:44 pm

Pride goeth before the fall.  I've been happy about the mockingbirds eating Japanese beetle and tomato worms.  Looks like they missed this huge one.  Sorry, he is not in proper profile for full impact. He is same distance from iPhone as my hand. Tomato Horn Worm ? ID - Page 3 Tomato22

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Post  trolleydriver on 9/2/2017, 4:59 pm

@sanderson wrote:Pride goeth before the fall.  I've been happy about the mockingbirds eating Japanese beetle and tomato worms.  Looks like they missed this huge one.  Sorry, he is not in proper profile for full impact.   He is same distance from iPhone as my hand. Tomato Horn Worm ? ID - Page 3 Tomato22
Never seen one of those in my garden and don't want to. I probably just jinxed myself by saying that.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/2/2017, 5:36 pm

I have had them....bad news.  The ones I saw here had the little white wasp eggs on them, so you are supposed to let them be.  That is what I did....they eat a lot though.  There is a parasitic wasp that destroys the worm and releases lots of natural killers.  Braconids?  Need to look it up.

http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2011/08/when-not-to-kill-a-tomato-hornworm/

Yep.
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Post  sanderson on 9/2/2017, 9:23 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Never seen one of those in my garden and don't want to. I probably just jinxed myself by saying that.
Isn't that the truth. Shocked

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Post  bigdogrock on 9/3/2017, 3:25 pm

I was wondering, what is the thoughts on using the commercial bacteria bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt)? I was told a long time ago, forgot by whom, that it was OK for organic gardens.
I have used it in the past, but that was a long time ago. It worked EXTREMELY WELL, VERY QUICKLY. It took only a few minutes to mix, in a hand pump sprayer bottle and lasted for a while. My neighbors used what I didn't use and I still had a bunch left over.  It is a "A little dab will do ya" type thing. I used to just spray on the plants that had the hornworm droppings on the lower leaves and around the bottom of the plants. I see the black tubular shaped droppings before I see the damage to the tomatoes.  The smaller the droppings, the smaller the hornworms (and hopefully not much damage to the plant). A quick couple of pumps from the spray bottle and no more hornworms in what seems like a few hours.
There is another Bt type of thing out now for wide broadcast use to kill mosquito larvae in the early stages, seems to work well.
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Post  OhioGardener on 9/5/2019, 7:55 pm

Love seeing beneficial insects in the gardens! Having been an organic gardener for many decades, I am always looking towards improving pest control.  Today I was checking on a volunteer cherry tomato that came up in a flower garden, and noticed Braconid Wasps have been doing their job in controlling the Tomato Hornworm. At this point the hornworm is no longer able to eat, so they are no longer a danger to the tomato plant. And, very soon there will be a lot of new Braconid Wasps coming out to search for more hornworms. When the wasp emerges from the little white cocoon, the end of it is open and we know they have completed their cycle.


I did not find any hornworms that were not infected with the Braconid Wasp, but I did see the Sphinx Moth flying about so there will be more soon.

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