Please help! Caterpillars destroying plants - Knowledgebase Question

Houston, TX
Question by Delfarose
August 29, 2017
Can someone help me identify what kind of worm is this? Is destroying my vegetables and roses, eats my vegetables and the leaves. They are multiplying and I can't get rid of them. Please help!
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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Answer from DaisyI
August 29, 2017

3

Its a Tomato Hornworm.

Houston, TX
A comment from Delfarose
August 29, 2017
Thank you! How do I get rid of them?

Name: Michelle
Pleasant Lake MI (Zone 6a)
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Answer from Mizshelli
August 30, 2017

1

Handpicking them is your best bet. I feed them to my chickens, but you can do what you will when you find them. I haven't really ever found a good 'pesticide' that works to get rid of them, but I garden organically, so I just go out and pick the little jerks off the plants.

Houston, TX
A comment from Delfarose
August 30, 2017
Thank you, unfortunately is too many of them, I tried that but seems impossible. They keep showing up.

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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A comment from Philipwonel
August 30, 2017
BT spray works great. Its organic also.
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Houston, TX
A comment from Delfarose
August 30, 2017
Thanks a lot

Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Kรถppen Climate Zone Cfb
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Answer from Australis
August 29, 2017

0

It is a caterpillar of some kind (I'm afraid I don't know what type, though). The parent moth or butterfly likely laid eggs on your plants and now the caterpillars have hatched out and are eating anything green they can.

You can remove them by hand (wear gloves, though, as some types are hazardous if you come into contact with them). There are natural pest oils and sprays you can get as well that you can use. Neem oil is another option. You can also encourage birds and other predators into your garden, which will then usually eat the caterpillars.

Since these are food plants, I'm reluctant to recommend pesticides, but in the worst case you can try these. Try to get a ID on the type of caterpillar, as that may narrow down which pesticide to use.

Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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A comment from ctcarol
August 30, 2017
Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) Is safe for food crops, but I don't think it would work on those full grown hornworms. It needs to be used at first sign of damage while the worm is still small.

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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Answer from greene
August 30, 2017

0

With a large infestation, you may also have some Tobacco hornworm; they look similar.

Whichever they are (or if you have both) pick them off by hand. If there are too many...pick faster! Toss them into a bucket of soapy water. No need for chemicals. BT is a safe way to go but if there are "too many" cats there may be too many plants for the BT to be an affordable option.

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