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Article: Attack Of The Tomato Hornworms! Controling the Tomato Hornworm: friend or foe? depends what they munch

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Forum: Article: Attack Of The Tomato Hornworms! Controling the Tomato HornwormReplies: 4, Views: 77
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Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 11, 2008
4:04 AM

Post #5397761

It sure is a shock to discover how much these caterpillars can munch overnight! Unless I'm really overrun with them, however, I've taken to moving hornwoms from my tomatoes onto alternative host plants. The moths they become are just too lovely to resist!

For additional info on hornworms & sphinx moths, see
Alamogordo, NM
(Zone 7b)

August 11, 2008
1:55 PM

Post #5398945

I have always loved tomatoes and they have always grown well so I don't fuss over them at all--except to pick these caterpillars off. I usually destroy them as that is just how my Dad always did. But recently as I was plucking some off my plants I wondered if I could just relocate them? What will they live on and do less damage?

Also I planted my tomatoes in a bed that held zinnias last year. Of course many zinnias came up and I couldn't bear to pull them out so my tomatoes are surrounded with pink flowers. Maybe this is what is attracting the moths in the first place? I have had more hormworms this year than ever!


Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 11, 2008
7:58 PM

Post #5400568

A security light at night is a draw for the moths and the year I had them on Datura was the year I had about 6 under a light to enjoy the white blooms at night. But the scent of a host plant will draw them too.
Atlanta, GA

August 13, 2008
12:05 AM

Post #5405918

For the past few years in my garden I've found only two hornworms and both were prickly with wasp larva, so I let them be. Haven't spotted any hornworms this year.

I never kill wasps--even when they build nests near the back door, I only move the nests (early in the morning when it is cool--and I take care to be very covered up.) Wasps pollinate figs--and I love my figs.
Alamogordo, NM
(Zone 7b)

August 19, 2008
4:23 PM

Post #5436267

Interesting, didn't know that wasp pollinate the figs?? Since we don't let the cats out, I don't get many figs as the birds love them. But still good to know on the wasps.

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