Tomato Fruitworms make tomatoes ripen early

californianJune 20, 2010

I have hundreds of green tomatoes that are taking forever to ripen. Most of the large tomatoes that have ripened are ruined by a caterpillar that chews its way into the tomato and leaves it full of brown feces as it eats the inside of the tomato. In the process it makes the tomato ripen early. If the damage is not too great I have been cutting the damaged part out and eating the undamaged part as these are my only ripe tomatoes. I did some research and think the name of this caterpillar is the Tomato Fruitworm. Supposedly natural predators may keep it in check, but I guess I don't have any or enough in my garden. The article says BT will also work, but takes three days to kill them, in which time they could have already damaged the tomato. Anyone know about how many dollars worth of BT it would take to treat 36 tomato plants?

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Fruitworm

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