Hornworms can be found in your garden from early spring, eating your newly planted seedlings until late fall and your first light frost.
The caterpillars of the tobacco hornworn can be distinguished from the tomato hornworm by the color of the horns on their back ends. Tomato horn worm caterpillars have black horns, while the tobacco hornworm caterpillars have red horns.
Hornworms are known to eat various plants from the family Solanaceae, commonly attacking tomato, eggplant, pepper, tobacco, moonflowers and potato. Accordingly, they are often found on defoliated tomato plants, the caterpillar clinging to the underside of a branch near the trunk. They are difficult to spot due to their green coloration.
Some Gardeners say to use of a blacklight to find the hornworms on tomato plants at night, where they glow under the ultraviolet. They can be reduced by planting marigold flowers intermixed with your garden around desirable plants.
If you see this Sphinx moth fluttering around an outdoor light, be assured it is up to no good. Killing this moth on sight may save your garden from being attack by hornworms.
Every time you are in your garden look carefully for caterpillar damage. Kill them on sight! Many gardeners drop them in a cup or can of soap water to drown, I prefer to grind them under the heel of my shoe.
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