HornwormsCaused by: Manduca quinquemaculata
Problem Category: Insect
Symptoms: Feeding damage to leaves or leaves stripped from plant; heavy infestation may result in damage to fruit appearing as large open scars; large green caterpillars may be spotted on plant; caterpillars may reach in excess of 7.5 cm (3 in) in length and possess a spike at the end of their body; most common species have 7 diagonal stripes on sides or 8 v-shaped markings on each side; single eggs may be present on leaves and measure approx 1.3 mm in diameter; eggs are in initially light green in color and turn white prior to hatching.
Comments: Insect overwinters as pupa in soil; typically undergoes 2 generations per year; heavy infestations are more common in warm areas.
Management: Hand pick larvae from plants leaving any parasitized larvae behind to promote populations of natural enemies (these larvae can be distinguished by the presence of white, oblong-shaped cocoons on their backs).
Control: Spray 3%Neemoil or5% Neem seed kernal extract to control the hornworm