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07-15-2018, 10:32 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Monsters on our Tomato Branches

My wife picked up these creatures out of tomato in our backyard. Can somebody knowledgeable provide any info about these beasts.

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07-15-2018, 10:42 AM - 3 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jumbleview Quote
My wife picked up these creatures out of tomato in our backyard. Can somebody knowledgeable provide any info about these beasts.
Nice pictures but terrible pests. They are tomato hornworms which are the caterpillars of a large moth. They can decimate your tomato plants. You need to go over your plants very carefully and pick them off and get rid of them. Chances if you found one or two, there are more and they are hard to find when they are small. I pick them off my tomato plants and put them on my bird feeder and almost immediately the cardinals and blue jays will find them and remove them for good. I had a big problem with them last year but have not seen any this year, at least not yet. It is easy to spot their darker color droppings and if you look up from where the droppings accumulate you will inevitably find the culprit. Good luck and be sure that even if you think you got all of them you monitor your plants. They do have a way of coming back.

Last edited by jddwoods; 07-15-2018 at 10:47 AM.
07-15-2018, 10:51 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Very good photo of tomato worms.
07-15-2018, 11:28 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Thanks for info @jdwoods and @ramseybuckeye. Years ago back in Ukraine we did plant tomatoes. Of course there were a lot of pests, but nothing like this. New World!

07-15-2018, 11:44 AM - 3 Likes   #5
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Based on my Disney knowledge their names are Heimlich and Heimlich:

Heimlich | Disney Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
07-15-2018, 12:05 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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My tomato plants got eaten by deer, who are a bit harder to get rid of... For next year I'll have to build a fence.
The deer even ate a hot pepper plant!
07-15-2018, 01:27 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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we normally plant one sacrificial tomato plant and let the hornworms have the one, rather than a whole bed of them...
07-15-2018, 01:55 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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The Tomato and Carolina (Tobacco) Hornworms are quite similar looking in both larval and adult stages. Identification discussion here:

Species Manduca quinquemaculatus - Five-spotted Hawk Moth - Hodges#7776 - BugGuide.Net

07-15-2018, 02:20 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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Oh yuck! But nice capture by the K-01!.
07-15-2018, 03:56 PM   #10
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Sevin dust Will keep them away after you get rid of those. Don't dust the animals... It's a horrible way for them to die. I know from experience as I was an inexperienced gardener once.
07-15-2018, 05:17 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Sacrificial plants?

QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
we normally plant one sacrificial tomato plant and let the hornworms have the one, rather than a whole bed of them...
Is it kind of jock? Or true? How can one force caterpillars to eat sacrificial plant but nothing else?

---------- Post added 07-15-18 at 05:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by sergysergy Quote
Based on my Disney knowledge their names are Heimlich and Heimlich:

Heimlich | Disney Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
They are so cute on cartoon. Not on the real plants.
07-15-2018, 05:34 PM - 3 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jumbleview Quote
Is it kind of jock? Or true? How can one force caterpillars to eat sacrificial plant but nothing else?
no joke - pick them and move them to the sacrificial plant... we try to avoid pesticides as much as possible....
07-15-2018, 06:21 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Fantastic photos but now I think I will have to start examining my tomato plants a little closer.
07-17-2018, 08:46 PM   #14
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If you know someone with bearded dragons, give them the hornworms, they just love eating them. I paid good money for a jar of 20 of them to feed my bearded dragons.
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