Return to the Garden Clinic Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Caterpillar ID Please

Posted by johnweh zone10 FL (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 22, 10 at 13:27

I found this caterpillar on my poblano pepper after it ate 1 of the peppers & almost all of the leaves. This is the 2nd one I found in 3 days. These gluttons seem to be able to eat 10 times their own body weight in 1 day. An ID or tips on eliminating these critters would be appreciated.

John


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to caterpillar photo


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Caterpillar ID Please

That's a hornworm. Easily picked and thrown somewhere where the birds will love you forever.

Some years ago when I had the landscape business, I had a client with a pet rat and I trained it by rewarding it with hornworms. Very happy rat after he learned to grab the horn first - a left-pawed rat, BTW.

Dan


 o
RE: Caterpillar ID Please

It's a Tobacco hornworm.


 o
RE: Caterpillar ID Please

The best hint we could give if for you to learn to spot these guys when they are much younger (and smaller), and pluck them off. They don't travel in large packs like some caterpillars, but one can do considerable damage....as you have learned. Be observant.


 o
RE: Caterpillar ID Please

I bought a UV led flashlight and go out at night to look for them. The white lines on their sides really light up.


 o
RE: Caterpillar ID Please

People often wonder about finding these Tomato or Tobacco Hornworms on Potato or Pepper plants but since they are members of the same family as Tomatoes it only stands to reason they would be there. These are the larva of either the Carolina Sphinx or the Five Spotted Hawkmoth.
Small numbers of these pests, or control on a small number of plants is best achieved by picking the buggers off the plants by hand, or squishing them, or cutting them in half. However, if you find one that has what looks like small bits of rice sticking out of its back leave it alone since that one has been parasitized by a wasp and is being eaten alive.


 o
RE: Caterpillar ID Please

That's a good tip about the UV flashlight! As big as these darned thing are, they can be difficult to spot.


 o
RE: Caterpillar ID Please

These guys will do their share of damage. Here in AZ. the Sphinx moth is crutial to our night blooming cactus, so I plant one tomato off to the side of the yard, and move them to it.

JoJo


 o
RE: Caterpillar ID Please

There are hundreds of Sphinx moths and the one needed for your night blooming cacti most likely will not be either the Five Spotted Hawkmoth or the Carolina Sphinx. Many people, on hearing that the Hummingbird Moth is a Sphinx mistakenly would tell people to not kill those Tomato Hornworms because that would kill off the Hummingbird Moths. The larva of the Hummingbird Moth does not live on members of the Solanacea (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, tobacco) family.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Garden Clinic Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here