cut worms

jesse_2008(ZONE 10)September 2, 2011

I am growing a few tomatoes. I seem to be having a problem with something eating the plant I have searched the web and it seems to be cut worms, I also went on You Tube to try and find a soulution to get rid of the pests . On one site they mentioned yellow corn meal, because the cut worms eat the corn meal but their stomach can't handle the meal. My question is this true and has anyone heard or tried this method. Please help. Any method that has worked for anyone, I will be willing to try. Thanks

SO. Cal.


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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Jesse, could you please explain how and where the plants are being eaten?

I ask only b'c where I live cut worms are only a problem when plants are first set out and when the main stems are spindly they come up out of the ground and encircle the stem down low next to the soil and gnaw it off.

When the stems are strong they can't do that and besides, they can't even start gnawing until they've completely encircled the stem so the way to prevent that is not to use collars but to use a physical barrier that prevents them from completing that circle so that means using split plastic soda straws or something like that. I'd just use twigs from some dead Queen Anne's Lace plants which works fine. Andplacing them next to the stem.

However, there's more than one kind of cutworm and some can actually climb the plant instead of severing new plants down low.

Since I have no experience with those I don't know what they do when they climb the plant.

But if you could share with us what kind of damage you're seeing and where on the plant that would be a great help b'c there are other critters that can gnaw and chew tomato plants as well.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 2:02PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

jesse, I wonder if you're seeing tomato fruitworms? They look similar to cutworms, so if you're seeing fruitworms you might think of cutworms.
tomato fruitworms images (ignore the two attention-seeking hornworms "horning" in)

Fruitworms eat leaves: I find more of them on tomato leaves than I find fruit damage. They also eat through the skin of a fruit, making a neat hollow in the interior where they can gorge themselves on seeds and pulp without being seen. Then they go off to become a moth, leaving you scratching your head when you later find the untenanted hole. They may also bore into stems and leaf midribs.

The tomato fruitworm is also known as the corn earworm.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 3:09PM
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jesse_2008(ZONE 10)

Carolyn thanks for cluing me in. The plant has already set fruit and the leaves and some fruit has been eaten looks like it could be the fruitworm thanks Missing and Carolyn for the I.D. Well today I placed a plastic gatorade jug around some of the other tom's so I'll see how that works, I'll keep y'all posted. Thanks all I think some of the tom's have fell victim to the fruit worm ugh. I believe there is still time to start some tom's from seed. Thanks again

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 10:25PM
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