How to Prevent hornworms from Attacking Tomato Plants

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Prevent hornworms from Attacking Tomato Plants

Tomatoes can have those fat worms that are green with white stripes and a horn at the end of the tail, called a rhino horn. They are very easy to miss as they camouflage themselves on your tomato plants and can be overlooked, and they are called hornworms. You'll no doubt have noticed holes in the leaves of your tomato plants and their droppings, which are dark in colour, before you actually find the worms themselves. This reveals how to prevent hornworms from attacking tomato plants so that you get a healthy harvest.

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Steps to follow:

If there is one thing that characterises worms, it is that they are evasive. First, if you want to find them without losing your patience, spray the tomato plant with water so that they wriggle, making it easier to see them.


Put an end to hornworms on tomato plants by picking them off by hand to cause their number to lower. If it disgusts you to touch them, you can use tweezers to pluck them off. Remember that they often hide on the back of tomato leaves. Carefully remove them!


Buy an insecticide containing Bacillus thuringiensis, a substance which is used to kill small hornworms. Follow the instructions on the insecticide label and apply it on all parts of the plant whilst protecting your eyes, including the underside of leaves. Use it every 10 or 15 days until you have removed the pest. Note that it takes 1 to 2 days for Bacillus thuringiensis to kill hornworms.


Use of a pyrethrin insecticide is also recommended for killing larger hornworms on tomato plants. They must be in direct contact with the caterpillar to effectively eliminate them. Spray the plant twice, 3 or 4 days apart, for it to take effect.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Prevent hornworms from Attacking Tomato Plants, we recommend you visit our Gardening & plants category.

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How to Prevent hornworms from Attacking Tomato Plants
How to Prevent hornworms from Attacking Tomato Plants

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