Tomato Horn Worms are so gross. Big, squishy green worms with busy mouths that won’t cut tomatoes a break.
The other day I harvested yet another quart of cherry tomatoes from the garden — that Sungold Cherry Tomato has been producing like crazy!
I noticed a few green tomatoes that were half eaten and right away I knew the culprit was the dreaded Tomato Horn Worm or one of its brethren.
(Click on any image to see a larger view. Photos taken 23 Sep 2015.)
Several big green caterpillars that get in the tomato patch might be called horn worms. They sure are big and kinda gross.
I found 3 of them. Two were thrown out of the garden by first ripping off the branches they were clinging to and tossing them on the gravel drive. Hopefully, they became bird food or some opossum came by and had a late night snack.
The third caterpillar I left hanging from that cherry tomato vine. It had already been infected with wasp eggs.
Sure, I’ll promote more of those little buggers to live by letting them feast on the caterpillar after they hatch into grubs. The close-up view of the above image shows some of the grubs have already spun their cocoons.
Not all wasps are our enemies. Braconid wasps lay their eggs on horn worms. The immature wasp grubs will consume the caterpillar as their first food. Then, there’ll be more wasps in the future to help control these big green caterpillars.