Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's Eating Ray's Tomatoes?

This was the first of Ray's tomatoes that we picked.
It looks more like a little red pumpkin to me!

A few days later we were able to pluck this one.
(Now this looks more like a tomato!)

Then all we got were half-eaten green tomatoes! What the heck?!

Then we not only discovered the culprits, we caught them in the act!

Notice the guy on the right in the photo below, making his way down to feast on another tomato, he looks like a part of the stem!

These two guys are doing a very good job of ruining any hope of enjoying tomatoes from the pot on the back deck! Yuck!
Maybe we'll have better luck with the one Ray planted in the ground on the side of the house.
Anyone have any suggestions? When Ray 'googled' it all he found was 'take them off and squish them'! I'd rather prevent them from coming around than resorting to murdering them.
Marcy, I'll have to go back and read your gardening post from early spring!


  1. Eww, that's digusting! Maybe you can try pesticide?
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  2. Hi Eileen, sorry about the little culprit, bet Wanda knows what it is and how to get rid of them. I can't get over the size of your tomatoes, mine have just started and are real little .....see you in a couple of weeks...
    ....:-) Hugs

  3. Eileen you have Tomato Hornworms on your tomatoes, they are the larva of a huge moth called five-spotted Hawkmoth...the moths are as big as Hummingbirds...You can use insecticides or just pick them off and relocate them if you can't stand the thought of murdering them. :) They can quickly strip a plant...especially 2 of them! The moths are pretty but the worms I could do without!

  4. It sounds to me like its time to call out The UNITED STATES of AMERICA HORNWORM ARMY. Never heard of them? That's because they are an elite force of hornworm specialists. They swoop in the infected area in the middle of the night while we are all sleeping. Dressed in their camouflage gear resembling green tomatoes with their infrared green goggles, they are equipped with mechanical arms as they meticulously pluck each and every nasty hornworm from your plant. What happens next? Nobody knows. It is not for us to know. I am always moved just knowing that they are there to ensure we get our fill of this lovely fruit, year after year. I get teary eyed knowing that as I sleep safely and soundly in my bed each night, I'm sorry, I can't go on. Just dial 1-800-USA-WORM. Best of luck to you Eileen!

  5. Well, I now think we need some sort of rating for our blog posts:

    WO = Watch Out, may not be suitable for those who find certain bugs give them the heeby geebies

    SFAS = Suitable For All Sissies (like Marcy)

    HDSBGFY = Heavy Duty Stuff But Good For You (like when we get philosophical)

    JPSS = Just Plain Silly Stuff, as in when we crack each other up

    Those are some creepy worms, Eileen and you just photographed away and even (yikes) touched them!

    The all natural Pyola would zap them if you spray after each rain or wash off type watering.

    blessings with hugs,


  6. P.S. Maybe we need yet another for comments:

    WOFDASWMYSOYC = Watch Out For Diana As She Will Make You Spit Out Your Coffee (as evidenced by today's comment)!!!

  7. Hi Eileen-

    Great photos, almost too great since the pics of that creepy crawly worm made me shiver. eeeeeewwww

    My Dad always put peppermint oil on his tomato plants - and his were always HUGE - just a thought. not on the tomato itself but on the stems ande leaves.

    Love to you

  8. Whatever it takes to keep them from coming to your tomatoes, I hope you find it. I am useless in this department....and I will keep checking back to see all the hints, comments you get about prevention of these worms from getting to your plants....

  9. I'd give it all just to have more than one tomato on my one vine! But at least this way no hornworm army bothers to invade. This one, lone tomato has hung on forEVER, is still as green as spring grass, and shows no sign of changing color. It better be a GOOD one!

  10. Had to rush past your worms again as I await news on whether or not Diana made you spit out your coffee again...so sad, the poor pitiful and innocent keyboard getting endless splatters!

  11. Bernie was right! Wanda did know all about our little 'friends' here, and we will try her suggestion and Marcy's Pyola, whichever one works to keep them away! I've never seen those moths around here, Wanda, but obviously we've seen lots of evidence of them, I should have snapped a picture of the half-eaten tomatoes!

    And, YES, Marcy, both you and Diana have me spitting my coffee out! Well, actually when I went to read Diana's comment and spotted all caps in the comment, I put aside the coffee because I knew what was to come!
    And your codes would be a good idea if I could only keep them straight!
    Oh, Diana, if it were only that easy! And not just for the hornworms, wouldn't that be wonderful for every problem, big or small?!

    Gail, I think we'll try the peppermint too, because the tomatoes in the back are on the small side (but maybe that's because they haven't had the chance to grow before they've been eaten off the stem!).

    Rebecca, sorry about your little spindly tomato, hope by summer's end you have a bounty!

    Thanks for all the comments! You've all made a 'nothing' post so enjoyable!

  12. Oh, Jackie, didn't mean to leave you out! I'm useless here too!
    Dig a hole, stick the plant in, water it, pray for sun, and let God do the rest, that's my philosophy, and if it becomes any more complicated than that, I lose interest quickly.

  13. oh my gosh! I can't stop laughing...and have you ever had GATORADE (because I am at work and being a good girl drinking gatorade) spewing out of your nose because of laughter! Diana (whom Iam going to refer to in the future as ERMA B keeps me in stitches! WORMS EWWW they are horrible little critters...their beauty only skin deep! YOU GO GIRL>>>GET EM! BTW Erika is so beautiful! HBD to Erika and you are such a wonderful Aunti to open your home to her celebration!

  14. Oh, Linda, I was just about to 'close shop' here, glad I stopped by my own blog before getting off the computer!
    I too always compare Diana to Erma Bombeck! She is just too much, I seriously have tears rolling down my eyes sometimes.

    And for the amount of times I choked on my coffee you would think I'd give it up, but I think I've learned my lesson with her now.

    Thanks for all your sweet comments, Linda!
    I was going to say that I'm so glad we all found each other, but I think Heaven had a hand in that, so I'll give credit where credit is due!

  15. Girl, that bug is scary! I don't do bugs, Eileen. LOL! That's why I eat tomatoes from the grocery store. YIKES! You would see me run screaming into the night if I found a bug on one. I'm a sissy where scary bugs are concerned. ;-)


    Sheila :-)

  16. Those worms are gross!! I bet they turn into those HUGE lunar moths..
    Diana...you cracked me up!! And then Marcy too!
    Honestly, if I saw those in the garden I would run screaming as if I just saw a snake!
    Are tomatoes are finally ripe and we're able to start picking them now..I pray..literally..that I don't see anything like that..I probably wouldn't go out there again!
    I just hope I don't have nightmares:)
    Love, Jerelene

  17. I was fascinated by tomato worms when I was a little girl. I don't think I've seen them since...and now this post :)