Monday, May 14, 2012
Garden Seeds // Beware: Tomato Hornworms
Last week I was casually making the rounds in my garden when I noticed, from a distance, that my pepper plants looked terrible. At closer glance, I found four tomato hornworms on my three plants. I had checked my plants that morning, and within a six-hour span of time, they had eaten more than half of each plant.
A fascinating and beautiful caterpillar, but not one you want in your garden! They are a major pest.
Hornworms are found on tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tobacco and potato plants. I have only seen them on tomatoes and peppers in my experience.
Simply pluck these caterpillars off your plant - immediately! They have a tight grip. I would not recommend using any type of spray on them since they prey upon edible plants. Remove them instantly as they can consume a large amount of foliage and will destroy your plant in no time. As I mentioned, I estimate they were on my pepper plants for six hours. This photo shows the destruction in that time. Two-thirds of this pepper plant is gone and I doubt it will recover.
Hornworm hunting is a favorite among children. Give them a magnifying glass and send them into your garden. I offer a reward for every one they find!