Tomato Horn Worms

Earlier this spring we found a giant, ugly moth body which, after some research, we found was a hornworm moth.  I should have known to start preparing for invasion then.  This weekend I found three in the garden.  We tried to impart our chickens with a taste for the beasts but even they were scared.


(the focus on my camera couldn’t handle the hornworm)

Unfortunately I cannot offer to many organic tips in battle against the hornworm.  Diligence is the best defense.  Every evening go through your tomatoes and search for them.  Make sure that you look thoroughly because their color pattern is perfectly designed for blending with the tomato plant, and they can camouflage themselves so well that the first thing you notice is the damage to the plant, not the worm itself.  And make sure you have something hard and sharp to kill them with.  Their skin is very hard to break and they are full of oozing greenness you really do not want to touch.


Some sprays do deter the hornworm so you can try the options there.  I have not found any since this weekend so I’m hoping it was just a few rogue ones.  They are most damaging to not fully ready tomatoes because they eat the stalks and leaves, not the fruit itself.  If you find any little white eggs on your tomatoes, squish them!  Otherwise you’ll have even more of these lovely monsters the next year.


Oak Hill Homestead


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