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Old 07-30-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
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aaargh, tomato WORMS

help dc'ers.
how on God's green earth do I rid my beautiful tomato plants of those *(^&%$#) tomato worms?
I left two days ago after finding one on one of my plants.
gad, they blend in so well you wonder about your eye sight. I killed the bugger but after just feeding the pooches, I noticed that all my new growth and baby leaves are GONE~!~ Sure enough one big fat worm on there, he's squished now but do they leave rapidly growing larve or something that hatch overnight and then become huge all of a sudden? help.

yes, I sprayed that sudsy plant bug killer on it but I guess the tomato worms think it's tastes just great!

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Old 07-30-2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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I get tomato horn worms every year, too, Lefse, and from what I've read, there's very little you can do at this time of year except to pick the buggers off your plants. We (OK, I guess I should give DH full credit at this step! He does the "removal") pick them off, drop them in a bucket of water and let them drown. Doesn't seem very humane, but they're just way too big to squish! The master gardener at our cooperative extension said taht to really rid your soil of them, you must till to 2' deep pre-planting season and add some sort of insecticide to hit their eggs. He said that ultimately it's easier to just keep picking and cursing!
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:34 PM   #3
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Lefse, save some crushed eggshells and sprinkle them around your plants. The worms don't like crawling over the pokies and if you've got rid of most of the ones ON the plants you might be OK.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:16 PM   #4
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This page says that planting marigolds near the tomatoes can help: Gardening pests control with plants

I've planted marigolds with my tomatoes for years; I'd heard they keep the nematodes away, too. I don't think I've ever seen hornworms on them.
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Old 07-30-2007, 05:37 PM   #5
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You can pick them off or use 7 dust on your plants. As far as pesticides go, it is not very strong. They will get on your peppers and eat them up also, so keep an eye out. If you see one with little white eggs all over it, you shouldn't kill it because those are the eggs of a beneficial wasp that eat the worm and kill it. I know icky. You can also get the wasps from some of the garden catalogs and let them loose near your plants.
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:14 PM   #6
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BT (bacterium thuringiensis) will take care of them. The dry form, Dipel, is just dusted on like Seven. It only only affects worms...paralizes their digestive systems...and doesn't harm honey bees or other beneficial insects. It's also totally safe for humams.

You can pick them off if you can find them...they are really hard to see! You'll see their castings around the plant first.
My daughter rescued a tomato worm for a pet when she was a little girl. She loved any kind of critter.

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Old 07-30-2007, 06:30 PM   #7
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I had all my container tomatoes defoliated this year by them, due to my neglect, but they're slowly coming back.

Unfortunately, I can't stand to squish the worms, & hate using BT on my container deck plants, so I pick them off by hand & pitch them out into the yard, figuring they'll either die on their own or something will eat them.

I have to admit that the Tomato Hornworm moths are quite attractive.
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:50 PM   #8
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Everywhere we have lived there were the ugliet than sin tomato hornworms. We almost never find them here (OK, every once in a while, maybe one or two per year).

Always found the planting marigolds worked very well. And have used the BT spray.

I am more in favor of chemicals on foods than one of us, but still prefer the less pesticide approach.

It is a bit late for the marigolds. Believe they are there to prevent moma moth from depositing her eggs. I guess they stink more to the moths than they do to me.

At his point I suggest the BT and vigilence. Carefully examine the plants evry day and stomp verminous 'pillars. Not much else you can do.

Next year you might want to try the marigolds, they have worked for us.

One year found fellas that looked like them on the dill plants, we figured they they had been there about two days and ruined all the plants. No idea if those worms were the same as the tomato fanciers. Just curious if anyone else has had a similar experience.
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:03 PM   #9
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I planted marigolds and basil with each tomato plant this year and have yet to see a worm. Guess my luck is holding! If the worm on the dill is black and green striped it's a black swallowtail catepillar. They are similar to the monarch but different colored. I love watching them! Good luck with the tomato worms.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:23 PM   #10
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by LEFSElover
help dc'ers.

how on God's green earth do I rid my beautiful tomato plants of those *(^&%$#) tomato worms?
I left two days ago after finding one on one of my plants.
gad, they blend in so well you wonder about your eye sight. I killed the bugger but after just feeding the pooches, I noticed that all my new growth and baby leaves are GONE~!~ Sure enough one big fat worm on there, he's squished now but do they leave rapidly growing larve or something that hatch overnight and then become huge all of a sudden? help.


yes, I sprayed that sudsy plant bug killer on it but I guess the tomato worms think it's tastes just great!
I lost my whole plant to those little suckers. I was really really really ticked off. I will also be looking for the tips everyone leaves. So thanks in advance.
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