Tomato Hornworm


Biological Information:

  • Common Name: Tomato Hornworm / Five Spotted Hawk Moth
  • Scientific: Manduca quinquemaculata
  • Family: Sphingidae

Symptoms and/or signs to watch out for:

  • Leaf / fruit damage, droppings on leaves, fruit, ground.
  • Damage to plants in the Solanaceae family, usually tomatoes, sometimes

Life cycle:

  • Eggs – laid on low foliage, 5-8 days to hatch
  • Larva – are green caterpillars, black and white stripes on the sides
    • Red and black spine on the rear
  • Pupae – worms descend into the soil to pupate
  • Adult – adults emerge from the soil in 2 weeks, and deposit eggs in the underside of leaves

Pest vectors:

  • Host plants reside in the Solanaceae family

Overwintering Habit:

  • Pupa remain in the soil over winter

Horticultural production information:

Preventative Strategies:

  • Physical barriers

Threshold Level:

  • Respond to pressure when worms begin feeding on fruit or damage too much foliage

Control options:

Physical controls:

  • Remay / row covers / high tunnel plastic

Biological controls:

  • Marigolds deter the caterpillar
  • Predatory wasps

Chemical controls

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