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Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:51 am
Location: Rosemont, Sacramento, CA

Caterpillars ate off leaves on my tomato plants, OVERNIGHT!

3 big fat caterpillars ate off most of the leaves--overnight.

I have two small tomato plants in containers, both are doing quite well even though the leaves are curling--temps have been in the 3 digits all week. I water them carefully so they don't wilt completely.

I picked off the bugs with tongs. Those buggers could have eaten off both plants in just couple of nights!

I don't want to wake up in the morning and find tomato "skeletons" .

What should I do to keep the caterpillars off my plants?

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Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7646
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

I think picking them off by by hand is the best treatment, especially for the larger ones. :)

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Since your temps are in triple digits, your tomatoes would probably benefit from some floating row cover to filter the sun. You can mist the row cover for evaporative cooling. Tomatoes really don't like it that hot and won't ripen once temps are above 100.. at that temps they don't produce lycopene and carotene, which are responsible for the red color, any more (or it breaks down, I don't remember).

Anyway the floating row cover would do double duty to keep caterpillers off. (Just make sure they don't have any on them BEFORE you put the cover over.)

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