Answer: The best prevention is to clean up the garden very well in the fall, and then keep a sharp eye out for any signs of hornworm activity next summer. The damage is dramatic so it is not hard to locate and remove the hornworm by hand. When it is stopped early the plant will recover. If by any chance the hornworm looks like it has grains of rice all over it, relocate it close to the garden because it has been attacked by its enemy (a special wasp) and is carrying the wasp's eggs and will die soon. This self-replenishing natural control is quite effective.
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