The Q&A Archives: totmatoe hornworm

Question: how on earth can i rid my tomatoe garden of this devils

Answer: Tomato hornworms can be 4-5 inches long at maturity, and seeing them can be quite a shock! Hornworms are the larvae of a large moth (Manduca, with a wingspan of 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 inches). The adult is attracted to tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, dill, and various weeds. She lays her eggs on the host plant, the eggs hatch, and the larvae feed and feed. They have voracious appetities and can denude a tomato plant in a day! Handpicking is the best defense. You can use the botanical Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis), which is a bacterium that acts as a stomach poison, and is quite effective against most caterpillars. It is sold under many brand names including Dipel and Thuricide. To keep hornworms away from your tomato plants next year, try interplanting dill. (Hornworms like dill and are easier to see and remove on the wispy dill foliage.)

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