Tomato Hornworm Questions and Answers

Tomato hornworms are huge green caterpillars with horn-like tails. Caterpillars of this species are native to North America and Southern Canada. Although they can infest potatoes, peppers, and eggplants, the tomato is the hornworms’ preferred plant, hence the name tomato hornworm.

The tomato hornworms are the largest caterpillars, growing up to 4 inches long. Their green color gives them an advantage because it allows them to blend in with the greenery and eat undetected until they have inflicted significant harm.

Tomato Hornworm Questions and Answers

What does a tomato hornworm turn into?

Tomato hornworms transform into hawk moths or sphinx. The hornworm caterpillar is now an adult, with pairs of yellow-orange markings running along the sides. These have large bodies and pointed wings. Hawkmoths are highly agile flyers who can fly during the day and at night, earning them the nickname “hummingbird moth.” They have the capacity to fly and the body structure of a hummingbird.

Do tomato hornworms bite?

No. Tomato hornworms are not aggressive. Tomato hornworms do not sting humans and are completely safe. Do not be alarmed by the horn or the body structure of 4-6 inches. These worms are harmless since they are easy to pick up and dispose of. The hornworm dies when it is removed from plants.

Where do tomato hornworms go during the day?

Tomato hornworms lurk under leaves throughout the day, making them difficult to notice. Another factor is the caterpillar’s color, which mixes well with green foliage, making it difficult to spot. Tomato hornworms hide during the day and emerge to eat at dusk, making them easy to identify.

Tomato hornworms can cause a lot of damage once they get into your garden. The barrel-shaped droppings on leaves are one of the signs that you have these caterpillars in your garden.

How do tomato hornworms get on my plants?

Let’s look at the life cycle of a tomato hornworm to see how they got into your garden plants. The egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa, and adult moth are all stages of the tomato hornworm’s life cycle.

The tomato hornworm pupates over the winter and emerges as brown moths in the spring. Female hornworms lay their eggs on the leaves of their host plants (tomato leaves).

The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which begin feeding and reach adulthood in three to four weeks.

How to keep tomato hornworms away

As a gardener, always make an effort to use natural pest control methods. To control tomato hornworms, use the natural ways listed below.

Handpicking is still the safest and most effective method of controlling tomato hornworms. This strategy works well, especially if you have a tiny garden. Handpicking involves manually removing hornworms from host plants. Then you can crush or drown them.

Kill hornworm larvae by cultivating the soil at the start and end of the growing season.

Kill smaller worms by applying pesticide soap to plants

Try interplanting basil or marigolds to help prevent tomato hornworm.

When do tomato hornworms appear?

When tomato hornworms hatch from their eggs, they emerge as little hornworms in late spring or early summer.

What does tomato hornworm poop look like?

Do tomato hornworms poop? They certainly do. Tomato hornworm droppings are dark green or black because they love to infest tomato plants and feed on green vegetation. Some say the poop looks like miniature grenades.

What do tomato hornworm moths eat?

Because of their body form and flying ability, tomato hornworm moths are sometimes referred to as hummingbird moths. They usually eat on flower nectar from nightfall to sunrise.

What does tomato hornworm damage look like?

Tomato hornworms are reported to infest a variety of plants, including eggplant, potatoes, and peppers, in addition to tomatoes.

Do you notice leaves that are severely defoliated? Are there huge holes in your plant’s leaves? Do you see scarring on fruit surfaces or blooms that have been eaten? You’re probably dealing with tomato hornworms in your garden
The amount of harm these caterpillars do to plants is enormous. Early control measures seem to be the only effective way to reduce damage.

What do tomato hornworm eggs look like?

The tomato hornworm eggs are light green at first. Female moths lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves, thus they’re usually hidden. A single female can lay 5 eggs per plant on average.

Before they hatch, the eggs turn white.

When do tomato hornworms pupate?

The tomato hornworm pupates between early spring and mid-summer.

Can you fish with tomato hornworms?

Yes. Tomato hornworms can be used as fishing bait. Catfish love them

Are tomato hornworms poisonous to chickens?

No. Tomato hornworms are not poisonous to chickens. One approach to get rid of them after handpicking them from your plants is to feed them to your flock.

Are tomato hornworms poisonous to dogs?

Tomato hornworms are poisonous to dogs. Because they eat tomato and weed leaves, the chemicals in the leaves could make your pet sick. Dogs, on the other hand, are unlikely to swallow the worm since it tastes terrible to them.

Can you keep a tomato hornworm as a pet?

It is feasible to keep tomato hornworms in the house with minimum effort. Although raising hornworms at home is simple, extra caution is required to assure success.

To ensure disease-free tomato hornworms, purchase them from a reputable breeder. You should not collect them from your garden because you do not know if they are healthy. Make sure they have a steady supply of light.

Do tomato hornworms glow under a backlight?

When exposed to the backlight, tomato hornworms glow green.

Are tomato hornworms poisonous to cats?

Tomato hornworms are toxic to cats when ingested. Toxins from the plants that hornworms eat are stored in their bodies. Because cats eat them, these chemicals can make them sick.

Do birds eat tomato hornworm?

Birds eat tomato hornworms. In fact, attracting birds to your garden as a management technique for hornworms can be beneficial. Birds have strong vision and can detect hornworms even when they are hidden.

Is it safe to touch a tomato hornworm?

It all depends on how squeamish you are. Touching a tomato hornworm, on the other hand, is completely safe and does not cause skin discomfort. The horn is not sharp enough to pierce the skin.

What do tomato hornworms taste like?

According to, tomato hornworms taste like fried green tomatoes with a hint of shrimp and have the consistency of soft shell crabs.

Difference between tomato hornworm and tobacco hornworm

The tobacco hornworm and the tomato hornworm have unique traits, despite the fact that they are sometimes confused.

The tomato hornworm moth has five orange spots compared to the tobacco hornworm moth’s six.

The horn of the tomato hornworm is blue, while the horn of the tobacco hornworm is red.

The white stripes of the tomato hornworm adult moth have green edges, whereas the white stripes of the tobacco hornworm adult moth have black margins.

Wrapping Up

We have addressed a number of common questions about the tomato hornworm in this blog post. Tomato hornworms are common pests that attack plants of the Solanaceae family, which include tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplants.

Loathed by farmers in its caterpillar stage, the tomato hornworm can cause extensive damage to crops, typically undetected since it hides during the day and emerges at dusk to feed. The tomato hornworm can be controlled simply by following traditional pest control methods such as handpicking.

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