This morning, I found tomato hornworms, Manduca quinquemaculata, on a single tomato plant in one of the raised beds.
These are destructive caterpillars that will defoliate a plant very quickly and decimate your tomatoes. They also like to devour peppers, potatoes and eggplants.
Here’s what to look for: black turds, defoliation of the tender top leaves and a green caterpillar that is both fascinating and disgusting at the same same.
Usually there are many turds on a leaf or on the ground. If you see this, start looking for the hornworms, which can be up to four-inches long. They are called hornworms because they have a black “horn” on the last abdominal segment.
Handpick hornworms from infested plants and remove them from the garden.
Hornworms become a moth commonly known as a hummingbird, hawk, or sphinx moth.