Sorry this is so long. I bought a house and grew my first tomato crop this summer. I had 3 large varieties and a large cherry tomato plant I got from Lowes. They are each growing in different giant pots next to eachother on my deck. They got big enough where I had to get cages. I started noticing something was eating holes in the leaves and leaving scars on the tomatoes. I tried neem oil, and all the usual stuff. Nothing. It looked like it was caterpillars or something, but I could never see any. Something was eating like, entire sections of leaves overnight.
Then one day while I was inspecting them, I saw it. It was pretending to be a stem. This giant green monster with a white horn. I googled it. Tomato hornworm. And there is never just one. This thing was so gross and stuck on there, I called my boyfriend to get it. When he saw it he freaked out too. He managed to pull it off and I killed it but I knew there were more. We both knew we would never eat any of these tomatoes knowing that monster probably touched them. But this was war. I would go out there every night with a flashlight and would find these small green ones, all different sizes, stuck to the bottom of the leaves. I began to enjoy my nightly ritual, finding their hiding spots, pulling off and killing them. I was slowly going insane.
So fall rolls in, and the temperature got below freezing a few nights and the tomato plants were still producing green tomatoes, but the leaves were starting to turn yellow. I lost interest in my battle, assuming the worms left when it got below freezing.
Well today, I start trimming the branches off that had died and there they were on the green leaves. I killed about 5 of them and then just started hacking away, leaving only the tomatoes and a a few green branches still on the vine. I just went out there and found another one that was definitely not there this afternoon. I never saw another giant one after that first day, only what I assume were her small spawns of satan.
My question is what now. My plan is just to throw all the plants in the woods in my pile of yard waste, soil and all. I do not want to deal with this next year and I swear to god, if these things survive the winter, they will make the trek across my yard just to ruin my life again. Do they hibernate? Do they die? Do I need to make a bonfire? I cannot deal with this again next summer.
Where did they come from? What do I do this spring when it's tim... keep reading on reddit ➡
His name is Munchie because he would constantly bite my finger when I would pick him up as a caterpillar.
He for some reason never was able to unfold his wings when he left his cocoon. They stayed folded up even though he was in an open space.
So, Munchie gets a nectar that's basically just raw honey and water mixed together.
When Munchie is hungry, I used to soak a paper towel in the solution and get him to get his proboscis out.
But now, when he's hungry, he just sticks it out and goes nuts in his little container that I keep him in (he kept flipping himself over in the butterfly mesh thingy, so this keeps him more stable)
Today I literally just let him stick his proboscis in the container with the solution and it took him maybe 2 minutes to get him to eat and retract his proboscis instead of the 10 minutes it takes with the paper towel.
Is this an example of him learning??
Also, I have no idea of this moth's gender but Munchie is a moth and has no concept of gender, so I call him he/they.
My wife's tomato plants have a bunch of tomato hornworms and they have been destroying the plants. This afternoon she spent an hour trying to find them and pick them off (we have about a dozen plants so not that many). Tonight I thought, these things have a white stripe, so I wonder if they glow under a black light. I have a black light flashlight, so we went out. The answer is YES, they glow white. The really small ones only glow at the head and tail, but any bigger and the whole worm glow white. Makes them really easy to find! We found about a dozen more in a half hour, so if you've got this problem, might be worth trying. Black light flashlights are on Amazon for $10 to $20.