Tomato Hornworms can can ruin a tomato crop in record time: it seems like they appear out of nowhere and start feeding voraciously. They do the most damage in the caterpillar, or larvae, stage. They are pale green with white and black markings, plus a horn-like protrusion.
Because they blend in easily with the green foliage and feed non-stop they can quickly create spotty and chewed leaves and fruit. Note: They also feed on eggplants, peppers and potatoes.
How to get rid of Tomato Hornworms
• Pick them off by hand — CAREFUL! wear gloves because the horn can sting — and drop them into soapy water.
• Use Pyrentrin insect spray. Pyrethrins originate from Chrysanthemum flowers, so they are environmentally friendly and decompose quickly.
To keep hornworms away next year, try planting dill and/or marigolds between tomato plants.