Where Do Tomato Hornworms Go During The Day

Where Do Tomato Hornworms Go During The Day? Tomato hornworms are intimidating, but the truth is that they’re not really that harmful to your tomato plants as long as you keep them under control.

With proper prevention and management techniques, these pests can be easily kept in check, allowing you to grow healthy tomato plants without having to worry about damage caused by hornworms munching on your plants.

In this article, we’ll cover 10 of the most useful tips for controlling tomato hornworms both organically and through chemical means!

Where Do Tomato Hornworms Go During The Day

Rotation: Planting Tomatoes in Different Locations

Many gardeners plant tomatoes in one location each year, which means that’s where they’ll be able to grow.

But if you have a space or two around your house that has plenty of sun exposure and isn’t too shady, you can rotate your tomato plants there for an even better harvest.

Be sure to space your plants far enough apart so as not to crowd them out.

Diatomaceous Earth

The most effective way to get rid of these pests is by using a natural product called diatomaceous earth (DE). DE is made up of fossilized remains of algae, and it works by cutting through an insect’s exoskeleton and dehydrating them.

You can buy DE at most garden stores in powder form. Just follow these simple steps to safely apply it to your plants: When you see a hornworm on one of your plants, use a pair of gardening gloves and pick it off.

Pick And Destroy

Pick off hornworm egg cases from your plants and remove them from your garden to prevent more hornworms from hatching.

You can also handpick hornworms as you see them, but be sure to throw them away and not into compost or garbage bins—if they aren’t properly disposed of, they could damage other crops when they grow up.

Beneficial Nematodes

You can also control hornworm damage by applying beneficial nematodes, which are a type of microscopic worm that feeds on other insect larvae.

Beneficial nematodes are commercially available and require no more than a gentle rain to work their magic.

The Nemasys Bio-Advanced Pest Control Product website explains that once applied; beneficial nematodes infect and kill garden pests within 24 hours. Treat your tomato patch just once in late July or early August before hornworm season begins for best results.

Sticky Traps

Aside from putting up sticky tomato hornworm traps, it’s a good idea to destroy any eggs that you see on your plants. It’s very important to not leave them on there since they will eventually hatch, and you’ll have even more hornworms to deal with.

The best way of doing that is by squishing them between your fingers or hand—just be sure to wear gloves, so you don’t rub off any skin.


If you have a hornworm infestation, handpicking them is a good way to reduce their numbers. Simply pick them off of plants and crush them (I like to use an old newspaper).

You can also keep hornworms from hatching by putting tiny pieces of duct tape over their green eggs, which I’ve found helps reduce infestations in future years.

Natural Predators

One way to reduce damage from hornworms is to encourage natural predators in your garden, such as birds, frogs and various insects. A good time to do so is at night when pests are most active.

Neem Oil Spray

How to Control Tomato Hornworms. The first thing you should do when you spot a tomato hornworm is removed it from your plant!

Pick it off gently, then drop it into a bucket of soapy water (one tablespoon dish detergent per gallon of water).

Make sure you get as much of its body and legs as possible submerged into the solution because these are how they eat your plants.

Insecticidal Soap Spray

Make a spray by combining 1⁄4 teaspoon (1.3 ml) of insecticidal soap in 1 quart (946 ml) of water. Use as you would any other pesticide spray, but keep in mind that you may need to reapply every 3–7 days, depending on weather conditions and your particular pests.

Spinosad Spray

Spinosad is a naturally derived pesticide that’s effective against a variety of pests, including caterpillars. Apply spinosad before you notice any hornworm damage—and be sure to reapply every 7-10 days for optimal results.

There are no harmful effects from spinosad on beneficial insects such as honeybees and ladybugs, so it’s considered safe for all but fish and aquatic life. The EPA considers spinosad a relatively low-risk pesticide.


Those are the 10 most useful tips that I could come up with on how to control and prevent tomato hornworms. Where Do Tomato Hornworms Go During The Day?

If you grow tomatoes, then you’re likely to encounter these critters at some point, and hopefully these helpful hints will provide you with a few options.

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