Tomato & Tobacco Hornworm Pests

| February 24, 2016 | 2 Replies

Tomato & tobacco hornworm pests can devastate your garden, specifically your tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. I first heard about the hornworm from my neighbor, Jim, who appeared in my first tomato episode. I felt lucky I had not seen one! For a couple of years, I visualized having to get a pair of tongs to pull them off my plants when I did. And I knew eventually I would. I think the reason I never saw a big one was because I was vigilant at squishing small ones.

So last October, I was put to the test. When I spotted a 5th instar (the largest interval before metamorphosis) hornworm larva on a pepper plant (the tomato vines were long gone by then), I discovered all I wanted to do was see it metamorphose. I brought the hornworm in the kitchen and fed it for a week. Here’s the story in my latest episode of Late Bloomer. I hope you enjoy it and share with friends. I guarantee I won’t be so compassionate come summer!

Tomato & Tobacco Hornworm Pests

My tobacco hornworm Freddie

Have you had tomato & tobacco pests in your garden? How did you deal with them? Most people recommend feeding them to their chickens. Watch on YouTube at HD for best resolution. Thanks for watching!! – Kaye

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Category: Late Bloomer Episodes, Pests

Comments (2)

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  1. Interesting show Kaye. I grow not only lots of tomatoes and peppers but also tobacco so have seen this worm larvae and moth in my gardens for years. I did not know there were 2 kinds. I recall watching the moths feeding on the nectar of the tobacco plants petunias and 5 oclocks. I thought they were hummingbirds for a while as they are about the same size. I carry scissors in my pocket in the garden and cut them in half when I find them. But do not cut any who have little white seed like things on their backs. These have been paratizised by a predatory wasp. They stop feeding and die but host more of the predators do control them naturally. This is why I do not use even organic sprays in my gardens. I thought you’d like to know.

    • Thank you, Sharon. I did know about parasitized hornworms, but I have yet to see one. I hope if I see another big one it has been parasitized! Thanks for contributing!! The moths are beautiful.

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