CHEVYIMPALA1970
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Where do Big Green Tomato Fruitworms Come From?

thanks to this site I found the ugly green tomato worm it ate the tops off potato plants a tomato plant and 1/4 of the only tomato on the plant .....its hard to grow tomato for me in the desert.
so where does this darn worm come from?

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Location: Amherst, MA USDA Zone 5a

Re: Where do Big Green Tomato worms Come From?

Fruitworms come from moths. They lay their eggs at night underneath the topmost leaves of your plants. From there they hatch and crawl into a fruit where they grow. This is what the moth looks like:

Image

There are a few predators that parasite the eggs and kill them. Those are called Beneficial Insects. An important one is called, Trichogramma pretiosum. They are tiny wasps. Really tiny.

If you need to spray, an organically accepted solution are sprays containing Spinosad, a naturally occurring compound that is non-toxic to humans and pets. Spinosad sprays are available from Amazon.

More info about the tomato fruitworm
https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r783300111.html

Info about the predator
https://www.hgsc.bcm.edu/arthropods/par ... me-project

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GardeningCook
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Location: Upper Piedmont area of Virginia, Zone 7a

Re: Where do Big Green Tomato Fruitworms Come From?

You could have either, but I'm voting for the Tomato Hornworm rather than the Tomato Fruitworm.

The "Tomato Fruit Worm" (almost identical to the Corn Earworm) is normally a relatively small (1"-2") brownish (sometimes greenish-brown) caterpillar. While they will sometimes eat some foliage, they prefer to tunnel into & feast on the tomatoes themselves, rather than the leaves.

The "big", "ugly", "green" caterpillar with the little spike/horn sticking up from its rear end & known as the "Tomato Hornworm" is produced by a night-flying Hawk Moth (aka "Spinx" &/or "Hummingbird" moths) - Manduca quinquemaculata. They can whittle a tomato plant's foliage down to nubs in just a night or two, & yes, they are sometimes parasitized by wasps, which will find them with long rows of white eggs attached to their backs. If possible, these parasitized caterpillars should be left on the plant; all others should be either picked off & drowned in a container of soapy water, or picked off a tossed a goodly distance away from the garden. Some birds & other critters love them. Here are some info sites:

Tomato Hornworm:

https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/ins ... e-gardens/

https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/tomato- ... /5287.html

https://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05517.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manduca_quinquemaculata

Tomato Fruitworm:

https://www.tomatodirt.com/tomato-fruitworms.html

https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/ ... rworm.aspx

https://entoplp.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/cornearworm.htm
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imafan26
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Re: Where do Big Green Tomato Fruitworms Come From?

I agree with gardencook. If you see a big ugly green worm eating the shoots of your plants it is probably a hornworm.
Fruit worms, like the corn earworm or tomato worm (basically the same worm) would be inside your tomato fruits eating it from the inside out.

Hornworms can be hand picked. If you have the right kinds of birds around, they will pick them off. Otherwise, if you are lucky parasitic wasps will parasitize and kill the hornworm.

https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/ins ... e-gardens/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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