View Full Version : Tomato Hornworms

09-07-2007, 06:24 PM
So, I will freely admit that I am not the most attentive gardener in the world, but I do go out every now and then to pull up the weeds and pick the ripe veggies. I call it my itty-bitty garden and up until now, I've been really proud of it...

Just Planted (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb531f1d0a3400000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

The tomato and pepper plants are in the far corners.

Tomatos before the Invasion (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb531f048b1d00000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

Green Tomatos (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb531f008b1900000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

Peppers before the Invasion (for some reason, this crop of peppers grew up instead of down...) (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb531f0c8b1500000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

Now, it is a whole other story. While my pepper plant stayed basically the same size (it only grew a little taller and leafier), my tomato plant grew into a bush. But now I have nothing left! Here is what I came across when I went to check on it last weekend.

Pepper plant after the invasion (notice there are no leaves!) (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb531ff68bef00000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

Tomato plant after the invasion (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb531ff70ade00000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

A closer pic (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb5366a6cb1b00000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

Parsley after the Invasion (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb531ff08be900000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

One more... (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d726b3127ccebb5366a2cb1f00000026100QYsWzJszbMc )

There were about ten of the Tomato Hornworm catapillars and about three of the swallowtail catapillers (the ones that were on the parsley). From what I read, they start of as little itty bitty green insects that I wouldn't have really noticed on my bimonthly :) trips out to the garden. Oh well, I guess I'll have to be on top of things next year.

09-07-2007, 07:04 PM
the first time I saw hornworms i think i was 12 or so ... they scared the hell out of me cuz they were so big, almost as big as the tomatoes.

09-08-2007, 11:05 AM
Once I was walking home from school in college and saw one. I'm still traumatized. I'm actually afraid to grow tomatoes, 'cause if I saw one of those things, I'd never leave my house again.

09-08-2007, 07:07 PM
i've never had problems with hornworms before. those suckers are BIG!

09-09-2007, 11:19 AM
I had problems with them last year (and yeah, my husband had to pick them all off) but this year none. I put an organic insecticide (yep) on them as a preventative this year and it must have kept them away. I was heartbroken last year going out and finding most of my tomatoes, peppers and stuff eaten down to nothing.

09-09-2007, 01:12 PM
those suckers are disgusting. my first time growing tomatoes i got them. i knocked them off with a stick and killed them but by that time the damage was done. i too was proactive this year and sprayed with a neem oil mixture..no hornworms.


09-12-2007, 05:44 PM
I had them about when I planted tomatos in my garden about four years ago. How, did I know I had them? I could hear them chewing the plant before I even spotted one. Yes, I was completley :shocker: (tramatized) and had to remove them from the plants myself, the man of the house wasn&#39;t helping me with that one. <_<

kmacbaje: Neem oil &#39;ay? thanks for the tip I&#39;ve got some newly planted herbs I&#39;ll give the business :bolt:

09-13-2007, 05:56 PM
^^^Wow, you could really hear him chewing? I couldn&#39;t even pluck up the courage to touch them, so I just settled for the pictures. Now if only I could find their cocoons so that I can track their metamorphisis....

09-14-2007, 09:04 AM
kinckyhick-i&#39;m sure there&#39;s a formula somewhere for mixing the neem oil but i just put a few drops in some water and a few drops castile soap to emulsify it and sprayed like a fool.


09-14-2007, 10:49 AM
Ooh, those things are HUGE! And nasty looking. If they ever come in my garden they could have whatever they want. My tomatoes had some other problem this year. They started out nicely but then they turned brown and nasty. I think they got some kinda disease or something. I&#39;ll try again next year.

09-14-2007, 12:12 PM
^^^Wow, you could really hear him chewing? I couldn&#39;t even pluck up the courage to touch them, so I just settled for the pictures. Now if only I could find their cocoons so that I can track their metamorphisis....

(Hand on heart) I swear it&#39;s all true,

I was like, "What&#39;s that munching sound?" (looked down and around)
(me) "Jesus, Mary & Joesph!" :acksmiley:
(Hornworm) "Crunch, crunch, crunch"

I didn&#39;t even know what they were until I did the 100 meter dash into my house and pulled about my Western Gardening book. The book instructions were to pick them off and stomp them.

I couldn&#39;t bring myself to do that, so :icon_thinkerg: I would either cut the plant branch off with the worm still attached and put it them into the covered green waste recycle bin where they could munch until garbage day; or used a stick and a piece of cardboard and put it into the covered green waste recycle bin where it could munch until garbage day.
-But I wasn&#39;t about to pick up any worm I can hear chewing with my bear hands :icon_headshake:

Even tho the worms in your pictures are huge, I still had a hard time immeadiatly seeing them because of their great camoflage. Thank god one of my five senses is working overtime. :lol:

ps. It took a while, but with the help of my bionic hearing I was able to catch the infestation early enough to save my plants :P

kmac :lol: Sounds good to me. ^_^

12-13-2007, 01:24 PM
oh i feel for your plants.... those hornworms are the deevil... i usually have my uncle (that likes to chew tobacco) put the tobacco juice on the leaves...DON&#39;T SWALLOW THE TOBACCO JUICE OR YOU&#39;LL BE REALLY SICK!!!
the little deevils hate the taste of it.... ;)

12-13-2007, 01:34 PM
Oh wow! I hate those things. I had them this year too and I just let them have the plants. I was too freaked out and not as determined to have tomatoes as I have been in previous years.