what bug is this?

Sherry_Bell(9)May 6, 2012

Can anyone identify this bug? I think its a catapillar of sorts, but I dont know these colors.. also.. Is this bad for my plants? will they only eat follage or will they hit my maters?

Here is a link that might be useful: video of bug

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I believe it's a young tomato fruitworm. They come in various color patterns at different stages of their lives, though, so I'm not positive.

Yes, they're bad for your plants -- and judging by all the holes, you've got a major infestation. They do eat fruit as well as foliage ... but you shouldn't worry only about whether they'll damage the fruit, because without leaves, the plant won't have enough energy to have any fruit.

Go to your favorite garden center or big-box store and buy something containing BT -- Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki. BT kills caterpillars; it won't harm beneficial bugs or bees. DiPel is a common product containing BT. Buy it today, because as the caterpillars grow, they'll be able to eat an increasing amount each day. You'll need to apply it under the leaves as well as on the upper surface. Liquid BT is easier to apply where you want it than the powder.

[Make certain it's BT kurstaki; there are other strains of BT that are effective against other insects but not caterpillars.]

Please don't use a general insecticide like Sevin, as that kills everything.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:37PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It looks like it is already eating your tomato leaves. I don't know what kind of caterpillar it is, but I would kill them!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:41PM
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chas045(7b)

Nice video. I agree that whatever it is you should get rid of it/them. If it were me, I would just pick or knock them off and step on them.

I used to get lots of tomato hornworm like shown on the current post 'is my tomato ruined' or something. I never had them in a quantity able to do much damage to semi mature plants and they didn't show up until then. If any chewing critter is busy at this stage, it could do serious damage.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:48PM
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tracydr(9b)

BT will get it and is so safe. I use the Safer brand, either liquid or powder. I get it off Amazon because I can never find it at my local nurseries or big box store.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

My local Home Depot carries this brand:

"Thuricide BT Caterpillar Control" by "Southern Ag".

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Sherry_Bell(9)

you all have been so helpful thank you so much! It was too late today to get to the store but I will get there tommorrow. This evening I went out there and started looking hard for more and yup, I found 5 without much effort.. sigh.

I love this forum, u guys help me so much, Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:50PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

I don't see a horn.

That said, Bt won't work if the things are half grown or older -- too late.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Sherry_Bell(9)

jean if its too late for BT, is it too late for my whole yard? Im not sure what that statement means, "its too late"

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Edymnion(7a)

Yeah, Sevin is the nuclear option. It kills EVERYTHING, but on the flip side it kills anything. When all else fails, sevin succeeds.

Just try not to use it if your plants are flowering, as the flowers will draw in good insects that will come in contact with it and you'll kill your pollinators.

But if it comes down to nuking it from orbit with sevin just to be sure, or letting a hornworm strip your tomato to the bone, I vote for the sevin.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:21AM
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