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Identify bug on Patio Tomato

Orlando, FL(Zone 10a)

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.

Thumbnail by CatladyDane
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

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)

Caterpillar, not worm.

Go hunting with a pair of scissors.

Plantersville, TX(Zone 9a)

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

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

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)

Whatever it is is UGLY and harming your plants so it must die!!

Orlando, FL(Zone 10a)

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

Madras, OR

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)

It looks like a grub. They are nasty little bugs and they bite hard.

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

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

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