Tomato Hornworms

"Tomato Hornworm, Manduca quinquemaculata. However, the tomato hornworm and tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, are often confused with each other. They are very similar in appearance and both attack members of the Solanaceae family. The tomato hornworm is three to four inches long at full size (likely to be the biggest caterpillar we see in our gardens) and green in color with white v-shaped marks along its sides. A black “horn” projects from the rear of the caterpillar. Tobacco hornworms have diagonal white stripes and a red “horn.”

"Signs of Tomato Hornworms:

Tomato hornworms are voracious, munching entire leaves, small stems, and even parts of immature fruit. While they are most commonly associated with tomatoes, hornworms are also common pests of eggplants, peppers, and potatoes. Most likely, you’ll notice the damage before you notice the hornworms, because their color helps them blend in so well with the plant foliage. You can also look for their black frass (droppings) on the foliage and around the base of the plant.

Effect on Garden Plants:

Undetected, a tomato hornworm can do a fair amount of damage to its host plant. They have hearty appetites, and can defoliate a plant in a matter of days. If they are detected and removed early on, the plant will recover just fine.

Organic Control for Tomato Hornworm:

Because the hornworm is so large, the easiest and most effective way to get rid of it is to pick it off of plants as soon as you detect it and either squish it or toss it into a bowl of soapy water. A bad infestation can be treated by applying BT (Bacillus thuringiensis). This is most effective when the larvae are small. If it is a problem year after year, try rototilling the soil either in late fall or in spring before you plant–this will either bury the pupae or destroy them. However, if you see a hornworm covered with white egg sacs, leave it be. The egg sacs are those of a parasitic wasp called the Braconid wasp. Let the eggs hatch, and you’ll have an army of wasps ready to defend your garden against all types of pests."


Great post! Here’s the one I found! Now I’ll always remember what it is!

Found it on my grape vine just chomping away at the leaves! It’s funny too because I have 35 tomato plants in the garden in my front yard that have none of these. Just one grape plant. Weird!


Those are some nasty buggers…

Hoenworms. Many cousins. Runined many of my 'maters in the greenhouse. Do not bug my Peppers much…get it…LOL “Bug”

They always seem to appear right after the fruit sets, and you get that big smile on your face. Then a few days later, you enter the greenhouse, and all the top foliage. and “terminal” bud are gone. Bare stems remain. If you grab one of these worms and squish them; You see an vibrant green mush forms the entire insides. Perhaps an organic painter could make a beautiful green paint ot of these.

You can merely pick these worms off the plant. Iinsecticidal soap can help you control them, and a dusting of Food grade CODEX Diamtomaceous Earth will eradicate these, and Spiders mites as well if you are not worried about beneficial organisms, with soft exoskeleton