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How to control and control this deadly tomato pest

 Tomato Horn Worms



Tomato hornworms are unforgettable tomato pests. Although they are large, green, and somewhat beautiful, there is a terrifying light about them. Considered one of the most destructive garden pests, tomato hornworms can quickly wreak havoc on your tomato crop. These ferocious caterpillars devour entire tomato plants overnight, forming a real force to be reckoned with.


Controlling and Preventing Tomato Horn Worms


Handpicking


In an effort to control and prevent tomato hornworms, natural remedies can be surprisingly effective. The most natural way to get rid of these large green caterpillars from your tomato plants is to pluck them. If you are a grower of ripe tomatoes, this method is no stranger.


Although they may seem scary, they are not dangerous to humans. You can handle them without fear of being bitten or punched. Once you catch them, you can relocate them (they will become the best pollinating moths for your garden), or leave them in a bucket of soapy water to remove them well.


Introduction of ancillary plants and beneficial insects


Another excellent natural control and prevention method in the fight against tomato hornworms is to introduce beneficial insects. There are many good bugs that can protect your tomatoes and other vegetables. In the battle against tomato hornworms, you will need Trichogramma wasps on your side.


Trichogramma wasps are harmless to most substances, and adults-only eat pollen and honey. But as for the tomato hornworms, they are very dangerous. These tiny parasites lay their eggs inside the tomato larvae's eggs. Once they hatch, these tiny wasps feed on the nutrients of their host eggs, stopping the life cycle of the tomato hornworm.



Trichogramma wasps are very successful in eliminating the whole infection before causing more destruction. You can artificially introduce them into your garden by publishing the pests you buy online or you can plant some of their favorite pots like marigolds and roses.

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Neem oil


In the fight against pests, neem oil may be your best ally. Mainly for most gardeners, it is easily accessible and fortunately not a hassle to use.


Neem oil acts as a natural insecticide for many pests that affect tomatoes, including aphids and whiteflies. It is also very effective against tomato hornworms. Neem oil also helps in fighting some fungal diseases. Unfortunately, as with most things, this method also has some drawbacks. Although neem oil does not damage your plants, it can prevent it from harming beneficial insects. Therefore, in the fight against tomato hornworms, it is better to choose your methods carefully. If you have worked hard to introduce many good bugs in your place, it may not be a good idea to use neem oil for your plants.


Up to the soil


As mentioned, tomato hornworms pass through the winter in the soil and emerge as moths in the summer. While not harmful in the latter part of life, they lay eggs on vulnerable tomato plants, resuming the cycle of destruction. Thanks to this habit, tomato hornworms have become an annual problem.


One of the best ways to prevent a resumption of the cycle is to plow the soil at the beginning and end of the horticultural season. This kills the tomato hornworms that are deep in the soil and prevents them from turning into laying moths. Soil plowing is a gardening practice. This will not only stop the life cycle of the tomato hornbeam in its tracks but also eliminate other winter pests. Numerous soil-borne diseases persist during the colder months, and plowing prevents your tomatoes and other plants from multiplying. It loosens your soil, destroys weeds, and eventually sets your soil for a successful growing season.


Mulching 



Mulching around the base of your tomato plants is another easy and multi-effective way to prevent tomato hornworms. This prevents newly emerging hummingbird moths from burrowing into the soil and laying eggs on your tomato plants.


Although there are many mulch products out there, a black plastic mulch is perfect in the fight against tomato hornworms. A solid barrier, It blocks the moths from the surface, eventually causing them to die beneath the soil.




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