How to spot a tomato horn worm
I went out to my container garden with a camera because I finally have a lot of tomatoes ripening on the vine and I was ready to gloat. (That should have been a warning.) It had rained lightly over night and I noticed what looked like miniature blackberries on several of my tomatoes:
And then I realized it was frass -- that little gift the tomato horn worm leaves in his wake. Sure enough, on four of my plants, I found one of these guys:
Along with this 3-inch long monster, I found many stripped leaves with nothing left but the leaf veins. I didn't see any sign of these guys yesterday, and today they were half way to denuding my plants! So I picked them off and set them out in the middle of a two lane asphalt road as a treat for the birds.
My advice? If you spot one, look around for his buddies. These guys are voracious.