What is Manduca quinquemaculata
Organic pesticides and tomato worm may serve as an example of natural approaches to pest control. The hawk moth, whose scientific name is Manduca quinquemaculata, possesses long wings and is able to hover over flowers during feeding.
This moth is found all over the United States. The caterpillar is also known as the tomato worm and is considered to be an important pest. The length of these green caterpillars reaches 4.5 inches. The characteristic features of tomato worm are a large horn on the tail and white marks along the sides. Tomato worms merge successfully with leaves due to their protective coloring.
Why farmers need organic pesticides for tomato worm
Organic pesticides and tomato worm go together because of considerable damage that the pest produces on tomato plants. Tomato worms attack not only tomatoes, but also potatoes, eggplants, pepper, and tobacco. They adhere to the undersides of branches near the trunk. The tomato worms leave big holes in the foliage, feed on stems, and chew large holes in the tomatoes themselves.
How to use organic pesticides against tomato worm
Handpicking of caterpillars
Farmers can handpick tomato worms from the leaves. Owing to their dimensions the worms may be frequently controlled in the vegetable gardens by handpicking. After their removing from the plants, tomato worms are placed into a bucket of soapy water to destroy them.
Using of beneficial insects
It is good to grow nectar plants and attract parasitic wasps, which are natural enemies of tomato worms. Farmers also release beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings that feed on the eggs.
Bacillus thuringiensis as organic pesticides against tomato worm
Bacillus thuringiensis can be used as organic pesticides against tomato worm
- Biological insecticide Dipel contains natural bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis that destroys tomato worms. However, humans and wildlife are not affected by Bacillus thuringiensis. Caterpillars that consume the treated leaves die during several days.
- Organic product known as Green Step Caterpillar Control is easy-to-mix concentrate of Bacillus thuringiensis. Bacillus thuringiensis in the concentrate disables tomato worms and leads to their death from starvation.
Planting dill between tomatoes and on the sides of the area where tomatoes grow prevents them from worm attacks. Hawk moth, who comes to the garden to lay eggs on tomato plants, becomes scared by the dill smell.
Diatomaceous earth is among popular organic pesticides for tomato worm. Diatomaceous earth is prepared from ground fossils of ancient diatoms. Diatomaceous earth destroys pests owing to the minute sharpest pieces. It is necessary to wear a mask when spreading diatomaceous earth.
Other ways to control tomato worm
- It is good to till the soil in the autumn or spring to destroy the pupae.
- Farmers also create obstacles around the plant base using toilet or wax paper.