Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tomato Worms

GRRRR...tomato worms are a thorn in the side of every gardener I know.  They camouflage themselves so well that they are nearly impossible to find.  And they can strip a tomato plant overnight.  But over the years, I've discovered a pretty sure fire way to find these buggers and eliminate them from my garden.

Look for the poop...

Then look up and follow the stripped, eaten vines...

And I'll bet dollars-to-donuts you will find the culprit, happily munching away. 

This guy was huge!  At least 4 inches long!  And really creepy looking too :/

I found three worms this size in my tomato plants this morning using this method.  Let's just say these guys didn't make it home for dinner :)


  1. Ugh...they are creepy! I've got something munching my abutilon leaves and haven't found him yet...I'll try your suggestion.

  2. They *are* creepy, Cat...Ugh is right! But I've found this method seems to work...something about poop and gravity :)

  3. Glad you got 'em! I had something completely strip a sweet potato vine in a container, and I never could find it. Whatever is was has moved on and the vine has leafed out again. We have to stay on our toes with the gardening stuff! We can never let our guard down, can we! We never know what might be lurking and chewing and...pooping!

  4. Their camouflage is pretty good, isn't it? Thankfully I have never had to contend with such monsters. Actually I find very few animal pests attack my tomatoes, but diseases (like Blossom End Rot) are more of a threat.

  5. Yeah, I've had similar experience to Mark's. I don't know if it's the climate or the Better Boy Tomatoes, but usually late-season wilt or powdery mildew. Wow, that Tomato worm is one creepy dude!

  6. My gosh was that worm scary. I enlarged the image to see him closer. I have been lucky so far not to have them. I have enough bugs, thank you, with those blasted aphids. No pesticide spraying so I am out with the hose to blast them. The tomatoes and plants have not had any damage so far. Phew. You and your tomatoes have my sympathy.

  7. Gosh Diane, is your blog going into the horror niche now? LOL
    That worm is just creepy! I have never seen or even had to deal with a worm like that. That "thing" would have scared know what, out of me. ;)
    Glad you could "eliminate" them before more damage was done and I hope for you, there won't show up a bunch more of their "buddies" for dinner.
    Have a wonderful weekend and try to stay cool. :)
    Paula Jo

  8. I hate these things!! Just found 5 on my tomato plants this evening!! What I hate is how well they camouflage in. I'm looking around... trying to find them only to discover a huge one right next to my face! These things give me the creeps worse than spiders, even though they move slowly and do nothing but eat. And one of my smaller tomato plants in my toddler garden got stripped when we were on vacation and my sister was watching the garden!