Tomato pests - Knowledgebase Question

temecula, CA
Question by bobbidall
July 17, 2007
My tomato plant has tomatoes on it that are starting to ripen, however a pest keeps eating them! At first I thought it was a bunny so I put bird netting over it and picked all the tomatoes within its reach. Well I recently found a half eaten tomato out of the bunnies reach unless its a climber. There is a large moth that has been hanging around my garden. Do moths eat tomatoes and if they do how can i protect my tomatoes. I already use the bug spray on them. Thanks for the help!


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Answer from NGA
July 17, 2007

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There's a tomato pest called a hornworm which is the larvae of a large moth. These caterpillars are large, and the same color as a tomato stem that they're sometimes difficult to see - until they start munching away at the foliage and fruit. Look for frass (bug poop) on the lower leaves or soil beneath your plant. (Little black pellets). If you find any, tomato hornworms are the culprits. The botanical Bt (sold as Dipel) will take care of the critters, or you can handpick them if you can find them. Best wishes with your tomatoes!

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