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Beginner Gardening: Identify bug on Patio Tomato

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 9, Views: 93
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Orlando, FL
(Zone 10a)

April 29, 2013
10:53 AM

Post #9501289

This is my first tomato plant, which I am growing in a hanging basket (big dog can't lift his leg to "water" it). It's a Patio Tomato. It was thriving and had several tomatoes on it. I check almost daily as I look for ladybugs, aphids, and other six-legged visitors. I thought I would have to compete with the birds for my tomatoes, and wouldn't have minded losing to them. But this monster, who wasn't there two days ago, destroyed four of my fruits! What is he and where did he come from? There are no other vegetables/crops anywhere nearby. This beast is about the size of my little finger! I had hoped to avoid the use of pesticides as I do so like to pick and nibble right from the bush and don't want to harm wildlife or good bugs.

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2013
8:28 AM

Post #9502618

That is a worm. Not sure which worm, but it will eat your plant down to nothing overnight.

Remove it by hand, squish it, and be on the lookout for any more.

A sure tell way to determine if there are more is by the black pellet poop these worms drop as they gobble up your leaves and fruits. If you see these black droppings on any leaves, search immediately ABOVE those leaves, looking on the undersides of the leaves above. Generally, they start with the most tender leaves at the very tip of a branch that will hold their weigh, then move their way down that branch toward the stem of the plant. Then, they begin again.

You can spray your plant with Bacillus Thurigiensis (Bt). It is considered an organic product. The worms have to eat the coated leaves first. Once the Bt enters their system, it does its thing on their intestines.

Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 1, 2013
7:13 PM

Post #9504776

Caterpillar, not worm.

Go hunting with a pair of scissors.
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 2, 2013
7:10 AM

Post #9505179

I have seen the bluebirds dipping down onto my lawn, picking up worms .


Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2013
7:28 AM

Post #9505210

Looks like a "cutworm" to me - although this is a "misnomer" because it's actually a caterpillar. Maybe it should be renamed: "cutapillar" LOL

Anyways - this little beast will eat, and eat, and eat!

Here's a link, but you can find many others...


Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 9, 2013
5:55 PM

Post #9515040

Whatever it is is UGLY and harming your plants so it must die!!
Orlando, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 14, 2013
6:02 AM

Post #9519953

This beast was immediately removed & squished after I photographed him. I haven't seen any more since and I check daily.
Madras, OR

May 19, 2013
3:34 AM

Post #9525506

awfully big, I would keep an eye out for others, and for tomato hornworms which are quite large and can be green or purple. You will notice denuded leaves, they have big appetites.
canaan, NY
(Zone 5a)

May 25, 2013
6:31 AM

Post #9533326

It looks like a grub. They are nasty little bugs and they bite hard.
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

May 25, 2013
7:26 AM

Post #9533361

I agree with Honeybee, maybe a bronzed cut worm, but it looks like a cut worm for sure.

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