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What Are the Best Tips for Tomato Worm Control?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2016
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One of the best tips for tomato worm control is to handpick the worm from the plants. Once picked, the worms can be killed as a permanent method of tomato worm control. Other tips for tomato worm control are using natural or chemical insecticides. The leaf-eating worms are a good candidate for the consumption of insecticides, which will work as a means of controlling the pest. There are also natural enemies of the worm that can be encouraged to visit a garden to aid in the control of the tomato worm by predatory means.

The tomato worm eats the leaves and green tomatoes from the tomato plant and can decimate a tomato crop if left uncontrolled. The best method of tomato worm control is to handpick the pests from the tomato plants as soon as the first sign of infestation is seen. Stripped leaves at the top of the tomato plants and partially eaten green tomatoes mark the presence of the pest. In order to properly control the worms, the pests must be killed after they are picked from the plants. When searching for the worms, the underside of the leaves must be examined and the worms can be picked as they rest under the leaves.

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Once picked, tomato worm control mandates the worms be cut in half, squashed or submerged in a bucket of soapy water. Another tip for the tomato worm control is to apply an insecticide onto the leaves of the plants. Natural insecticides in the form of bacteria can be sprayed in a liquid onto the plants even before any signs of the worms are present in the garden. There are also several chemical insecticides that have been proven to control the worms with proper application onto the tomato plants. Another natural tip to control the worms is to introduce a natural enemy of the worm into the garden ecosystem.

Braconid wasps are a natural enemy of the tomato worm and destroy the worm by laying eggs under the worms' skin. Once the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae feed on the worm as they grow, resulting in the death of the worm. Perhaps one of the best tips for tomato worm control is to till the garden thoroughly every season. Tilling the earth results in the destruction of the grubs and larvae that will eventually evolve into the tomato worm, and is a natural method of pest control.

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