Answer: Horned caterpillars are generally Manduca, larvae of large night-flying moths. They prefer eating the leaves of tomato, pepper, potato and eggplant, but will consume most anything, and can strip a plant of leaves in very short order! Picking the caterpillars off your plant was a good idea. If there are many caterpillars, you can use the botanical Bt (Bacillius Thuringiensis), which acts as a stomach poison. Black fuzzy caterpillars can describe the larvae of many different moths or butterflies. I suspect you're seeing the wooly bear caterpillar (common at this time of year), also the larvae of a night-flying moth.
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