Stalk borer in my tomato plants?

Here’s someone removing one! I found a similar looking cat in two tomatoes from that plant. I thought she was going to cut herself with the boxcutter!

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Will you do this operation?

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Shrinkrap, you may be right, Helicoverpa zea, the Corn Earworm attacks tomatoes and lots of other vegetables, hence other names, such as Tomato Fruitworm. Bt var kurstaki or Berliner should control them, but constant coverage is necessary as it’s most effective on younger larvae.

Nasty bugs, they’re cannibals and will eat other insects as the get older!

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I got one!

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Yet another reason for having a plumber’s torch.

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I used a pot. grin

E T A I do have a torch, but not a plumber’s. Attaches to a can of something, a bit disappointing for what I’d intended.

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I’m going to start calling you the plant detective @shrinkrap! @bogman is the chief of the department as well as your mentor just for now. Good work!! 🪲🪳🦗

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Lol, I’m with @Auspicious on this one. Put that back…ugh. Life as a gardener is hard when you’re creeped out by bugs and wormy things.

You should have seen my refrigerator when I was taking various anatomy classes! Roomies didn’t try that twice!

Alright! The last thing you want is to have that thing mature and lay more eggs.

I think I would have bought my own fridge!

I can get you a Lowes link if you like.

Thank you! I believe we’ve exchanged torch pictures before. I really wanted a “searzall” for awhile,

but instead I got this butane one.

Garden pests notwithstanding, I don’t have room for another gadget.

Hookworms destroyed most of the leaves on 2 of my 4 tomato plants last night. Picked off about a dozen 2” long critters this morning. Most of what I Googled says just removing them is the best defense but how much they ate in one night makes me want some kind of safe repellent. A few articles say spray with dissolved dish soap. Any experience with that method?


Do you mean hornworms? If so, hand picking is good f they are already hatched, but Monterey brand Bt what I use to prevent. I believe there are a few varieties, as well as brands, of Bt.

Bt Pest Control: Info For Controlling Pests With Bacillus Thuringiensis from Gardening Know How

Yes. Hornworms. Thanks.

I remember having a really big chile arbol that was nearly denuded over the course of a day. That evening I sprayed down the remainder with a new bottle of bt. The next morning there were at least eight dead or dying hornworms underneath the plant. I’m a convert.

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Boy, it sure works for me. I had a couple of chiles that got denuded overnight. I coated with Bt and the next morning I found several hornworms dying underneath them


The leaves of my roses were being eaten alive as were all of my herbs and some of my tomato plant leaves.

My husband sent me a TikTok video by Armen Adamjan.

He has a spray which I tried and nipped things in the bud for me.
I don’t know how to load the video from my phone or tablet.

So here is his recipe:

Dice up 1 red onion
Dice 4 garlic cloves
1 TBSP Cayenne Pepper

  • ~4 cups of water

Add to a bowl and
(ETA: stir the concoction)
let it rest in the fridge for 12 hours
Strain into a pourable vessel
Pour into a spray bottle.

*I’m not sure about the water amount and just guessing.
He used a medium sized bowl and filled it about half way.

This natural insect repellant repels:
Spider mites
Fruit flies
And other bugs as well.

I tried it and it saved my garden last year. So just wanted to share it with all of you.


Thanks! Do you know what was eating the leaves?