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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎01-14-2013

Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

I have some great looking tomato plants this year. I ordered some seeds that are from Iraq and the plants are supposed to be very tolerant of heat (a good thing since I live in Texas). I am seeing lots of tomatoes coming on, but it also looks like something is beginning to eat on the vines. I don't want to use a pesticide on them. Does anyone know of something natural I can spray on them that will kill pests?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 24,561
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

The things that typically bother tomato plants are tomato horn worms, or Colorado Potato beetles. In both cases your best control option is to simply find them, handpick them, and squash them.

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!
Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,775
Registered: ‎03-15-2014

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

If they're being eaten by the tomato horn worm (actually a caterpillar), spray the leaves with Bt, Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (BTK).  It's sold under various brand names.  It's organicand the caterpillars will die when they eat leaves that have been treated.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,761
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

The smaller the caterpillar (tomato horn worm) the more effective the Bt is. 

 

Website to to diagnose tomato problems great photos too.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vegetable/problem-solvers/tomato-problem-solver/

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼
Valued Contributor
Posts: 932
Registered: ‎11-01-2010

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

I find an easy way to locate a horn worm is to look for their poo.  If there are black droppings on your leaves and ground, you have a horn worm (s).  Look very carefully at the plant where you see droppings.  The worms  are green so they blend into the leaves.  

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,858
Registered: ‎12-24-2010

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

Could be slugs - I use a sprinkle white pellets and mix it in the soil around plants.  It has a cute name - Google it - it never touches the plants but kills the crawlers in the dirt.   Google - Slugs

Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎04-19-2010

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

Dont kill tomato horn worms just take them to a different part of you yard. They turn in to humming bird moths they are beautiful and great pollenators.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,761
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!


@susan19 wrote:

Dont kill tomato horn worms just take them to a different part of you yard. They turn in to humming bird moths they are beautiful and great pollenators.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manduca_quinquemaculata

 

Natural predator to tomato hornworm is the braconid wasp:

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-04_braconid_wasp_on_hornworm.htm

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎01-14-2013

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

Thanks so much for your replies. I know what hornworms look like and I had checked the vines for them, but did not see any. Maybe I am just getting blind in my "old age"!!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 24,561
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Yikes ---Something's Eating My Tomato Plants!

Tomato horn worms blend in very, very well with the vines. Professional tomato growers will prowl their fields after dark with uv lights and special glasses. The tomato plants appear red while the horn worms glow bright green. It makes finding and eliminating them very easy.

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!