black caterpillars

ReaLM(z7 Atlanta)August 26, 2005

My tomatoes are being eaten by black caterpillars. I am not exactly sure what they are and I don't have a picture... they are black and a bit slimy. I have been spraying with Pyola from Gardens alive, but every day they do more damage and every day I pick a dozen or more off. I am afraid I will not get any tomatoes this year. What can I use to get rid of these?

Also I saw this really weird oval shaped light brown bug. It was huge, well over an inch in size. It had eaten a whole branch when I found it. It seemed to have arm like pinchers (like a praying mantis, but it is not one) that it was using to eat. It squished easily when I knocked it off and stepped on it. Anyone know what it is?

Thanks,

Robin

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suze9(z8b Bastrop Co., TX)

My tomatoes are being eaten by black caterpillars. I am not exactly sure what they are and I don't have a picture... they are black and a bit slimy

How big are these caterpillars, any markings?
Generally speaking, for most caterpillars, treatment consists of either picking them off and/or using Bt.

On your large oval bug, I've no idea what it could be.

See attached link, it may help you to identify the bug, as well as the caterpillar.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to identify and manage pests - UC

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 12:59AM
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ReaLM(z7 Atlanta)

Thanks.

They are apparently Army worms.

What is BT?
I am new at this.

Thanks,
Robin

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 8:45PM
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suze9(z8b Bastrop Co., TX)

What is BT?

Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium that, when ingested by some insects, is toxic. It will cause their digestive system to shut down. Considered an 'organic' control.

Comes in either liquid or powder form (dust) -- Easy to find in box stores or garden centers. Common brand names include Dipel (dust), Greenlight Bt worm killer, Thuricide.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bacillus thuringiensis

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 12:48AM
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ReaLM(z7 Atlanta)

I'll go pick some up.
Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 3:39PM
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