Hornworms and Caterpillars love to eat tomatoes. Control them with Caterpillar Killer, and Tomato and Vegetable Insect Killer. We have a concentrate, a spray and our exclusive Garden Dust designed to control your tomato pest problem quickly!
In order to control tomato pests such as hornworms, you must first be able to identify the telltale signs of an infestation. Tomato hornworms are quite large compared to other caterpillars, often growing to between 3-4 inches in length. Although their bright green color allows them to blend in easily with tomato plants, they can be spotted by the seven diagonal white stripes running along the length of their bodies or by the black or red horn protruding from their rear, for which they are named. Hornworms mature into large moths, grey or brown in color, and then have the unique ability to hover in place (like a hummingbird).
Tomato hornworms are voracious eaters and can destroy an entire plant in a matter of days. Catch them early by looking for damage to leaves, stems and immature fruit. You will also find their black droppings, known as frass, on plants and in the ground nearby.
Other Tomato Pests
There are a number of other caterpillars that also pose a significant threat to tomato plants. These include the tomato fruitworm, which grows up to 2 inches and can be a variety of colors. They are identified by a number of pale stripes or dark spots, and they are quite hairy. Tomato cutworms are another common pest that frequently chew on the stems of tomato plants. Outside of the caterpillar family, aphids, whiteflies, flea beetles, slugs and stink bugs can all affect your plants.
Organic Pest Control for Tomatoes
For hornworms and larger caterpillars, it is possible to control populations simply by watching your plant vigilantly and picking off the insects when they appear. Planting daisies, clover or spearmint nearby will attract wasps that naturally prey on caterpillars. Bird houses will have a similar effect.
Safer® Brand offers a number of great products to keep your plants healthy. Bacillus thuringiensis, otherwise known as Bt, is widely known as an effective form of tomato insect control. This bacterium, which lives in soil naturally, is highly poisonous to numerous types of caterpillar. Bt is an important component of our Safer® Brand Caterpillar Killer, an organic tomato caterpillar control that quickly breaks down in the environment after use. You'll also find Bt in Safer® Brand Garden Dust, which comes in an easy to use puffer bottle.
In our online store our exclusive Safer® Brand Tomato and Vegetable Care Kit is available, which contains both our Garden Fungicide, good for stopping blight, and our Tomato and Vegetable Insect Killer. Check out the full line of Safer® Brand organic tomato insect control products today!