Beardednimrod
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Location: South Jersey

Help please heirloom tomatoes being attacked

Hi all I'm new here & a beginner at gardening. I apologize if this type of question may have been asked & answered previously I was just so proud of my heirloom tomatoes till I got home today and noticed tomatoes up high on the plant chewed up also leaves chewed from stems. Please help me identify the culprit and tell me what I can do to stop it before the crop is destroyed
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applestar
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Re: Help please heirloom tomatoes being attacked

Oh definitely hornworms, I think. :evil:

look in this thread :arrow: Subject: I had a couple of visitors today....
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.

Beardednimrod
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Re: Help please heirloom tomatoes being attacked

Thanks for the help applestar ....I haven't noticed any horn warms but I did see a praying mantis in the area I didn't give him a second thought till I saw the pic in the link you attached

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Help please heirloom tomatoes being attacked

The mantis won't eat your plants. Instead they eat the bugs that would eat your plants.

And yes, probably hornworms. Several of them by the looks of your plants. It seems like they eat very little until they are really big, then when they reach that last growth stage they are eating machines.

Beardednimrod
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Location: South Jersey

Re: Help please heirloom tomatoes being attacked

Well ButterflyLady & Applestar the two of you were 100% spot on I caught these two varmints today and your probably right the praying mantis was most likely in the area because of these guys.
I sprayed my plants with an organic pesticide that how I found these two. Do you think there may be more?
Anyways many thanks to both of you for your help!!! I learned a huge gardening lesson
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KitchenGardener
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Location: Northern California; Hardiness Zone 10a, Climate zone: 17

Re: Help please heirloom tomatoes being attacked

Ick.

I could just leave it at that, but of course I have to add a bit more. Hornworms totally give me the willies. They don't play fair. Why? 1) I don't spot them until they are typically the size of a mid-size car; and 2) they are so well camouflaged that when I DO find them, they are often already touching me, on a tomato, or right next to my face :shock: Ooosh, I suddenly feel like I need a shower...

The only redeeming thing about them is that they are not that common here - instead, we get a trillion giant slugs and snails (excuse me, Imafan, I know that "giant" by your standards is completely different than by my Stateside standard, lol!)

imafan26
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Re: Help please heirloom tomatoes being attacked

I usually get slugs, snails and birds going after my tomatoes. Not too many caterpillars of any kind. It has been a couple of years since I have seen a horn worm. Those are pretty big ones. Lizards do a good job of taking care of worms and caterpillars. They just don't like to eat snails and slugs. BTW I got 6 African snails this morning watering the plants. Most of them were average 1-2.5 inches long. The rain is bringing them out in hordes.

I usually cover my tomatoes with tuille net bags to keep them from being stung by fruit flies and that keeps the corn earworms out of the tomatoes too. I have corn planted next to the tomatoes. I haven't seen many corn earworms either, but I need to get rid of the butterfly bush I grew. It is attracting too many butterflies. I think I will donate it to the butterfly garden.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Greenrooster50
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Re: Help please heirloom tomatoes being attacked

I have seen similar marks on my tomatoes. I spotted a mouse or rat seating on my plant eating at my tomatoes.

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