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Tomato Hornworm Control with Safer® Brand

Tomato Hornworms

If your vegetable garden includes tomato plants, there’s a good chance that it will attract the attention of the pesky tomato worm at some point. The tomato hornworm caterpillar is a greenish caterpillar measuring about 4 1/2" long. It has a spike or "horn" on its tail, giving this insect pest its name. Tomato worms can be found in just about every region of the United States, and they can wipe out your plants in no time at all.

 

Holes in the leaves, fruit and stems of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants may indicate the presence of the tomato hornworm.


Thwarting a Tomato Caterpillar Invasion

Eliminating this pesky insect can be difficult. When it comes to getting rid of tomato worms, control techniques should include thoroughly tilling soil at the beginning and end of the gardening season to destroy the larvae. If your garden is small, you can pick the tomato worms out of the soil by hand; they are completely harmless and won’t bite or sting.

 

The Best Form of Tomato Worm Control

Eliminating this pesky insect can be difficult. Using a product such as Safer® Brand Garden Dust can quickly and easily be used for tomato hornworm control. The active ingredient in Safer® Brand Garden Dust is bacillus thuringiensis, a naturally occurring substance that causes the worm to stop feeding in a matter of hours when ingested. The tomato caterpillar typically dies in just a few days. Safer® Brand Garden Dust is an OMRI® Listed product, meaning it contains ingredients that are certified for use in organic gardening practices. For best results in controlling tomato worms, thoroughly cover plant leaves with the product and reapply every 7-10 days or as often as necessary.

 

 

 

So... What's a Tomato Hornworm?

The tomato hornworm caterpillar is a greenish caterpillar measuring about 4 1/2" long. It has a spike or "horn" on its tail, giving this insect pest its name.

 

The larval stage of the tomato hornworm is the only destructive stage since it feeds on the leaves, fruit and stems of plants.

 

 

 

 

Reproduction Patterns of Tomato Hornworms

Adult moths will lay eggs in late spring. After the eggs hatch in about 6-8 days, the larvae will go through development in stages that last up to four weeks.

 

Then they will go below ground to spend the winter in the pupal stage, emerging in June or July of the following year as adult moths known as sphinx or hawk moths.

 

 

 

 

Tomato Hornworm's Habitat

Tomato Hornworms live throughout the North American continent. They can be found on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and other members of the nightshade family.

 

The tobacco hornworm, a relative of the tomato hornworm, is found on tobacco plants throughout North America.

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Forestry Images.
For a complete list of content sources please visit our site bibliography page

 

 

Safer®Brand brings you a variety of effective insect control products that are gentler on the environment! Most of them proudly display the OMRI Listed® organic seal and comply for use in organic gardening!

 

organic gardening products with the OMRI listed seal