Tomato hornworm question

shelleyh(z5 NY)August 4, 2011

I'm growing 30 tomato plants, some of which are in a tangle.

I found a tomato horn worm covered with wasp eggs on one of the leaves. Are they usually singular or do they invade in groups? Looking for them in all the leaves feels overwhelming.

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

If the hornworm does have those parasitic wasp eggs on its back leave it be b'c when they hatch out, as it were, they'll then be able to prey on any other hornworms that show up in addition to killing that hornworm.

Horworms can appear in any numbers at any time, it just depends on where the moth involved lays those eggs.

I'm one of those folks who don't see them as a major problem and just take them off and stomp them to death. ( smile)


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 9:37AM
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I found *one* on one of my 80+ tomatoes on Monday. Of course, 12 are so dense (determinate, not suckered) I can't see, but the other 70 are runty (hornworm was one 1 of those) and easy to see. Nothing on Wed. Haven't checked today. Last year had quite a few. Anybody else find not many around this year (in New England)?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:02PM
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I found my first today in NY, Hudson Valley Area! It was surly a shocker!! The thing is massive, now I wonder if I have any more. Of course after reading further in GW tonight I see that I probably shouldnt have killed this one due to the large amound of eggs on its back. O well, Next time.....or i should say, hopefully there is no next time - i would prefer not to see these guys.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 9:42PM
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A small black light flashlight will reveal these suckers clear as day during the night time hours, I found two in my little Brooklyn Garden. I wish they had little white eggs on them, I just fed these two to my neighbors family of robins and finches.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 6:46AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

The problem is that if you have leaf roll, those stupid bugs look JUST like a rolled leaf. Until all of a sudden you discover a bunch of bare branches. GRRR. We do check every day at least twice (DH once during the day and then we go out there together after I get home from work.) The chickens follow us, hoping we find a bunch of "yummy juicy treats" for them LOL!! We haven't had as many this year as we have in the past, I don't know if it's because we cut way back on the number of plants or if the weather caused a lot of moths to not lay. Whatever the reason, I'll take it!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 1:22PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The problem is that if you have leaf roll, those stupid bugs look JUST like a rolled leaf.

I never understood why hornworms are striped until this year. My Black Krim's leaves are very evenly zig-zaggy, and many of them have rolled upward. Out of the corner of my eye, they look like the tobacco hornworms I found on that plant. The zig-zagged undersides are pale like the hornworm's white stripes.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 1:40PM
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