Tiny caterpillars on tomato leaves

joflo723(9b)May 4, 2013

Can anyone ID this little sucker? They are VERY TINY, and there are a whole family of them on my cherry tomatoes, which haven't bloomed yet, but they are really wrecking havoc on the leaves, eating the fleshy part and leaving the veins. When I went to take them off with my hands, they all kind of fell off the leaves, but just hung from them in some kind of web. Is Bt what I need to get rid of them?

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Sure Bt would work as long as they're not inside the
web. Also as long as less than half-grown. But why bother with the cost?

Alternatives include these methods. Squishing provides instant gratification. If they drop from the plant when you disturb them, drown them in a small container of soapy water you hold just beneath them.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Thanks...I can continue to squish them...just wishing I knew what kind of caterpillar they are so I'll know what adults to be looking for and other ways of possibly getting rid of them (e.g., braconid wasps used to eradicate hornworms). I found them on tomato plant #2 this morning. :( Got this pic of the entire leaf this morning that shows all of them. Anyone have any idea what type this is? I know it's very young which makes it more difficult to ID. I'm wondering if they are just fruitworms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Fruitworms

This post was edited by joflo723 on Sun, May 5, 13 at 7:51

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 7:46AM
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1st instar Hornworms?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 12:20PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Not tomato hornworms....their eggs are never laid in those amounts on one leaf.....plus, they come right out of the egg with their horn!

Don't know what these are.....too early to tell.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 2:06PM
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Thanks...I went ahead and picked up some Bt today. Hopefully it will target whatever kind they are!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:34PM
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