How to Detect and Remove Tomato Hornworms

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This past week, I made a horrifying discovery.

One of my tomato plants was being brutally attacked by Tomato Hornworms. Look at it destroying my plant!

This guy is feasting on my poor tomato’s leaves. When I took a closer look, I realized there were many more.

Tomato Hornworms are a serious garden pest. Hornworms will eat tomatoes, squash, peppers and potatoes. After finding one, I conducted a serious plant inspection. Thankfully, these green beasts didn’t spread to any other plants, leaving me only three tomato containers to deal with.

How to manage the problem you ask?

  • Know the pest. Tomato Hornworms are a light green colored caterpillar looking insect with one horn on the back. Some have black spots while others simply have darker green spots.
  • Know the signs. I missed the signs initially, but Hornworms leave behind poop. Smaller droppings appear as small black spots on leaves. Larger droppings are larger black flecks, resembling a small piece of soil. Both are easily visible.

  • Know what to do. The first step to eradicating this pest is to remove it. Hornworms can simply be pulled from the leaves or fruit where they are eating. To prevent them from coming back, be sure to kill them. I placed each worm I removed into a bucket of hot soapy water.
  • Watch for them. Look for the pests when you water. They can be difficult to spot but can be found quickly by watching for their signs.

This common garden pest has nearly destroyed one of my tomato plants. I am now patiently waiting to see if it will come back.

Have you battled the Tomato Hornworm before? What were your methods?

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