• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

Tomato plant CSI

 
pollinator
Posts: 268
Location: Piedmont 7a
75
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have had issues with deer in the past eating the tops off my tomato plant and working their way down. So this year I took care to put a cage around them tall enough to thwart Bambi and co.  

You can imagine my surprise to see it happening again this year - no way a deer could get to them!  Am thinking raccoon?  Squirrel?  But how could they climb the plant to reach that high?  And then I looked very closely, and saw these bad boys. Case closed!

Oh, unless anyone knows what the deal is with the maters - not looking so hot. Same culprit, or something else?

Anyone know what sort of nibbler this is?
03F706A1-E541-4888-8A18-A45039A31591.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 03F706A1-E541-4888-8A18-A45039A31591.jpeg]
Nibbler 1
506C2583-A9E3-41DA-9E5A-0C2C005877D7.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 506C2583-A9E3-41DA-9E5A-0C2C005877D7.jpeg]
Nibbler 2
16E0E832-B572-4A6B-B95D-A329074F632D.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 16E0E832-B572-4A6B-B95D-A329074F632D.jpeg]
Tomato 1
E09E4304-4CBA-4E65-B677-9AA734B479F5.jpeg
[Thumbnail for E09E4304-4CBA-4E65-B677-9AA734B479F5.jpeg]
Tomato 2
D71A8790-C937-47B9-AAB8-90FF21F9453E.jpeg
[Thumbnail for D71A8790-C937-47B9-AAB8-90FF21F9453E.jpeg]
Tomato 3
 
garden master
Posts: 2504
Location: West Tennessee
710
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Artie, the nibbler in the first two pictures is a tobacco hornworm, which look very similar to a tomato hornworm. Tobacco hornworm has the red "horn" on it's butt, and a tomato hornworm's "horn" is like a really dark green and overall looks subtly different in appearance. They both have a ravenous appetite and are the bane of tomato growers nationwide. Those hornworms will turn into a spotted moth like in the picture below. Here's a link to a page about these two tomato plant chewers, with detailed pictures of the differences between the two both in larval worm stage and adult moths, which also are almost identical.

https://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/FIELD/hornworm.HTM

 
Artie Scott
pollinator
Posts: 268
Location: Piedmont 7a
75
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think that’s right James, thank you!  Just removed half a dozen - and a lot of damaged tomatos. It seems the Basel I planted with them had no deterrent effect at all.
 
gardener
Posts: 2569
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
441
cattle chicken bee sheep
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Luckily they are easy to collect and dispose of. A friend recently told me you cannot squish them and leave them. Something about their eggs still being viable....

Chickens don't seem to like them.

Finding them can be difficult. Great camouflage. I generally find them by finding the chewed up part of the plant.

 
Artie Scott
pollinator
Posts: 268
Location: Piedmont 7a
75
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very true Wayne, they are hard to find!  I dropped the ones I found into a bucket of water to make sure they were done. Even after plucking a bunch off and looking very carefully for more, when I went back later I found two more.

I guess my next decision is whether to pull the plants out and start something else - probably not going to get any ripe tomato’s at this point in the season.
 
Villains always have antidotes. They're funny that way. Here's an antidote disquised as a tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!