Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tomato Horn Worm

Check out this little guy! Well, he's actually not all that little...
It's a Tomato Horn Worm! Luckily we haven't had trouble with them before, so we didn't know the warning signs...though now we're educated!
A couple days ago I noticed something was eating the leaves off our Mortgage Lifter tomato plant. Stripping it bare.
This morning I noticed scat all around the base of the plant. We initially though it must be some type of small rodent. Our plan was to put top soil down tonight to get a foot print, put out a trap (just incase that would work), and set up the trail cam on the plant. But my husband didn't recognize the scat and it was driving him crazy until he finally broke down and googling "tomato eater with barrel-like scat". And what do a know...the tomato horn worm appeared! He went out and studied each branch until he found it! 
Where's Waldo? Can you find him?
 So we caught him this time, though it looks like he's eaten his fair share!
I've mixed up a pepper spray to use as a deterrent, but hopefully we won't have anymore of these guys! I used a couple tablespoons ground cayenne pepper, a few squirts dish soap, and mixed it all in a gallon water jug. Poured into spray bottle and ready hot pepper spray!

Do you have trouble with the Tomato Horn Worm? How do you combat them?

-Live Simple, Be Happy-
Magnolia Holler


  1. Good Morning to you, Well, that little, no I should say large Tomato Horn Worm certainly feasted on your tomato plant. I have never seen such a huge worm. Sorry to show my ignorance, but is it a caterpillar which will turn into a moth or a butterfly?
    I will keep my fingers crossed that the cayenne pepper and soap will keep this little nuisance at bay.
    Best Wishes

  2. Oh yeah, we've had our run ins with hornworms already this year. They made quick work of one of our tomato plants and stripped the vines bare! We've found that if we keep the bed free of weeds that prevents the worms. But the area around your tomato plants looks pretty weed free in these photos, so maybe that's not the perfect solution. If they get any worse in my garden, I'll have to try out your pepper spray!