adamra1
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Tomato plant caterpillars

Around the base of my tomato plant, the leaves are being eaten by the very small caterpillars you can see in this photo. What is a good organic solution for them or do I need a type of pesticide? I am very new to vegetable gardening. Thanks
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imafan26
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Re: Tomato plant caterpillars

You can pick off the infested leaves and bag them. The moths come to lay eggs after dark. Hand picking is one way, or you can use covers to keep the moths off. You can use something like dipel to kill the caterpillars. You will have to be diligent they can go through their life stages in a week.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: Tomato plant caterpillars

Yep. Mass hatching on a single leaf is great if you catch them before they move onto other leaves.

FYI -- Many caterpillars jump off the plant when threatened, and a pair of pruners coming at them may look like birdbeaks.

It's best to bag-and-clip -- put a bag large enough to completely swallow the leaf without brushing against any part of it, hold the bag closed around the stem, and clip it off.

Depending on the plant, alternatively, lay a tarp or something under the plant before clipping off the leaves.
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adamra1
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Re: Tomato plant caterpillars

If I want to take the easy way out can I just go with a traditional pesticide like Sevin?

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applestar
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Re: Tomato plant caterpillars

Hahaha you are not going to be let off easy -- :twisted: -- not while you are posting in the Organic Insect Control forum....
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Re: Tomato plant caterpillars

You can use the organic Dipel or Thurgicide. It is a bacterium specifically for caterpillars. It won't harm anything else.
The problem with using any pesticide, while it may seem the easy way out. In the long run, you end up spending more time and money. A broad spectrum insecticide like Seven will kill a lot more than the bugs you are targeting, but it is also harmful to beneficial insects that would otherwise control the bad bugs and is also toxic to bees. If you kill off the good bugs, you end up on the pesticide treadmill, because unless you continue to spray, the bad bugs will keep on coming back without natural controls to keep them in check.

While you are killing the caterpillars, the moths that really don't live on the plant, will just come back and lay more eggs.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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