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The SFG journey-Tomato Hornworm Toplef10The SFG journey-Tomato Hornworm 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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The SFG journey-Tomato Hornworm

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Post  has55 7/3/2020, 11:41 pm

I have never seen it except once many years ago. It was a monster on steroids. Found another this year on my tomatoes.  
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Post  OhioGardener 7/4/2020, 9:03 am

It is well fed!  Shocked

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Post  Dan in Ct 7/4/2020, 9:34 am

has55, here we call them tomato hornworms, there is also a tobacco hornworm, they are very similar, slightly different in the striping and the tobacco hornworm have a red horn. They can devour a tomato plant in no time and I remember the tip to look for its frass. I don't want to scare people but if an insect craps big enough for you to notice it. you should have a big stick by which to beat the hornworm and possibly sacrifice the plant. But seriously, look for what would appear to be grains of rice sticking out of the beast and if you see them let the hornworm be. There are parasitic wasp eggs and they will hatch and become your natural defense against this beast in the future. I still remember my first encounter with a tomato hornworm, most of the top of a tomato plant was gone and I was investigating and then I was eye to eye with the beast. I ran in the house to get a gun and I don't even own a gun but it looked big enough to take a good size chunk out of someone but found out it is a vegetarian. I researched more, a lot more before going back outside with a stick, had read about the parasitic wasps and saw that it was loaded with the white rice. It did not move or eat anything else and just withered away.
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Post  has55 7/5/2020, 2:43 am

Dan, you're right. I spelled it wrong.
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Post  OhioGardener 7/5/2020, 8:40 am

has55 wrote:Dan, you're right. I spelled it wrong.

Fixed the title.....wouldn't want our tomatoes to get hookworms...  Smile

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Post  has55 7/6/2020, 4:24 am

OhioGardener wrote:
has55 wrote:Dan, you're right. I spelled it wrong.

Fixed the title.....wouldn't want our tomatoes to get hookworms...  Smile

thank you.
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Post  markqz 7/7/2020, 11:23 am

Those  caterpillars are hard to find when they're small. When they're big, they've already done massive damage.

I just learned that the bugs  will fluoresce under UV light at night. I went over the gardens last night with a light and didn't see anything. Most things that fluoresce are man-made. Strange to be disappointed by not discovering something bad Smile
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Post  OhioGardener 7/7/2020, 12:04 pm

Found the first Tomato Hornworm for this year.  Fortunately, the Braconid Wasp found it first, and it is no longer doing any damage to the plant. Soon there will be a lot more wasps out searching for more caterpillars and keeping the plants clean.


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Post  has55 7/7/2020, 2:56 pm

awesome!!!
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