Tomato - Knowledgebase Question

pahrump, Ne
Question by sbennme
June 29, 2010
Last night I found a large green worm on my tomato plant, I was told that the only way to get rid of them is to pick them off. Is that right? Hope not.

Answer from NGA
June 29, 2010


Tomato hornworms are intimidating - just their sheer size is enough to make you want to turn and run! Even the horns, which are harmless, are scary! Handpicking will get them off your plants in a hurry but if you'd rather not deal with them that way, there's a botanical called Bt (bacillus thuringensis) which is a bacterium that acts as a stomach poison to caterpillars. It's sold under the names Dipel and Thuricide - and probably many others. It is safe to use on your tomato plants. The only downside is that the caterpillars need to consume the product, which means they will continue feeding for a few hours. Considering how much these pests can eat, they may strip your plant bare before the bacterium gets to them. But it does work. Apply according to label directions. Best wishes with your tomato plants.

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