Parasitized Tomato Hornworms

Joiseygirl71July 12, 2011

We have several tomato plants in containers on our deck. This is the 2nd season we have had the hornworms, so we've been inspecting daily and picked off quite a few, avoiding major damage. We now have 3 worms that are parasitized. Everything I have read says to leave them on the plant. But, when, if ever, can I remove them? How will I know the wasps have emerged? I'd like to spray with BT, but don't want to kill wasp larvae. Any advice? They are gross andI would love to be rid of them, lol! Thanks!

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Lucky you!

You'll know the wasps have emerged when you see a small hole in the end of the cocoons.

And lest you worry, those wasps don't sting people. Not ever.

The Bt won't affect the wasps at any stage of their life. But if you apply it when the hornworms are half-grown or larger, it won't affect them either.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 8:02PM
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Thanks! Do you know how long the "incubation" period is for the wasps? The cocoons have been there less than a week. How long before I can pick it off, or will it fall off?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 8:44PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

When the wasp larvae are finished with the caterpillar, they make those cocoons in order to pupate. As soon as you see those little pin holes in the cocoons, you can get rid of the corpse.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:52PM
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