Thursday, May 24, 2012

Caterpillars versus Tomatoes

Even though I applied BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) earlier this month the caterpillars have been back with a vengeance through the middle to end of May. It looks like I need to be applying BT more frequently. I do try to pick off and squish the ones I can see, but these have been difficult to see until they have done a lot of damage. Next season I need to be on a regular schedule of applying BT about once a week so that the Tomato Fruitworms do not cause so much damage.
Tomatoes ruined earlier this month by Tomato Fruitworm

Damaged Tomato cut open - once the caterpillars break the tomato skin it attracts a lot of flies and stink bugs

Tomato Fruitworm damage on even the green tomatoes

One of the Tomato Fruitworms I was able to find
Tomato Fruitworm on an otherwise really nice Celebrity Tomato

Close up of Tomato Fruitworm

Close up of several small Tomato Fruitworms

A complete family of Caterpillars destroying my Tomatoes
The only good news is that I planted so many Tomatoes this year that I still have a good amount of Tomatoes that I have been able to harvest with no damage. I will do another post soon to show a summary of the Tomatoes that did survive.


  1. Those are some appetizing worms! I wonder if that's what got one of our tomatoes. I didn't see any worms, but it was completely hollowed out and dry.

    1. It could have very well been a caterpillar. Sometimes they just make a small hole in the underside of the Tomato so that you do not even know they are there unless you inspect the bottom of the Tomato. But if they are left alone long enough they can hollow out a large part of the fruit. And then they move on somewhere else to form a cocoon so you never even see it.