We seem to have a worm that has decided it likes our tomatoes. What can I use to get rid of it? It's eating too many! I can't do anything poisonous because I have dogs in my yard. Help please.
Robin from Washington, IA
I guess you're talking about those big ugly tomato worms. The way we get them off is to just pick them off, or at least my husband does. I'm not going to touch them! (08/05/2008)
Next year when planting your tomato plants, place a piece of cardboard around the base of the plant, like half of a toilet paper roll. The horn worms won't get on the plant. (08/05/2008)
I agree with Glenn's Mom. You apparently have those big green tomato horn worms. The best way to deal with them is the old Size 7 Stomp. If you're too squeamish for that, just knock the worm off into a plastic baggie containing a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover. Close the bag and dispose of in the garbage can. The polish remover kills the worm and you never have to touch it.
After you are sure that you have removed all of the horn worms from the plant (look closely, they like to hide) place ground up eggshells around the base of the plant. Make sure the shells completely cover the ground, mulch, whatever for about two inches out from the stem. Worms that may be hiding in the mulch or on other plants will not crawl across the shells to get to the stem of your tomato plants. Good Luck!
Put a 16 penny nail along side of your tomato plant when planting and you won't have any worms.
By Grandma Bess
I have tried to remove the worms, but they cling so tight, it's hard to get them to turn loose! They have damaged the stem that they are on anyway, so what I do is just snap the stem loose, worm and all, and then do the ole number 7 stomp! Sure makes a nasty sound when you squish them, though. Ugh! (08/06/2008)
Make sure you kill these worms. Sometimes when you think you have stomped them they will crawl back on the tomato plants to do further damage. Check closely, as they can completely destroy a plant in a few hours.
If you should find a tomato horn worm with, what looks like grains of rice attached to it, leave it alone. These are larvae left by its natural enemy, a braconid wasp. The larvae feed off the worm and produce more of this beneficial natural horn worm enemy. A horn worm with these larvae attached won't do anymore harm to your plant as it will be dead. (08/07/2008)
By Mary Moo
Robin - This is not for the squeamish - like those who won't even touch a bug! Hand pick a bunch of the offending pests, toss them in a blender with water, blend, strain and then spray on any affected plants. This works with just about any bug and affected plant. (Best to have a blender for just the garden!) Good Luck (08/07/2008)
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