Many pests can invade your home and garden, but two of the most common are tomato hornworms and silverfish. These pests can cause significant damage to plants and property, so it is important to know how to identify them and take steps to control them.
Tomato Hornworms are large caterpillars that can be green, brown, or black. They eat leaves and fruits from tomato plants, and they can also strip entire plants bare. Tomato bug feed on leaves and fruit of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and other vegetables.
They can be distinguished from other caterpillars by their green color with a single white stripe down the middle of their back, as well as their long “horn” at the end of their tail.
Silverfish are about 0.25 inches long and have silver-blue metallic bodies with three distinct white stripes running down their backs to their tails.
They prefer dark, moist areas like bathrooms or basements where they will feed on carpeting, wallpaper paste, the glue used in book bindings making them difficult pests to get rid of since exterminators can’t just spray insecticide around the house without causing serious damage to your home’s structure.
Silverfish are small, silvery-gray insects that feed on paper, clothing, and other organic materials. They can be distinguished by their two antennae and three body sections, as well as the scales that cover their bodies. You can also learn more about how to get rid of silverfish naturally.
To prevent these pests from invading your garden or home:
- Use row covers to keep insects off of plants when they are young
- Discourage birds from eating fruit before it is ripe
- Practice crop rotation
- Prune vines to reduce hiding places for pests (especially tomato hornworms) and make processing easier at harvest time
- Remove old leaves and other organic material like compost piles after harvesting vegetables to cut down on sheltering space for silverfish and other insects around homes.
You can control both tomato hornworms and silverfish with the same methods. The most effective way to prevent these pests is by using pesticides.
However, you can also use cultural controls such as removing weeds and debris from around your plants, destroying eggs and larvae, and using traps or barriers to keep them away from your plants.
If you find evidence of these pests in your home or garden, take action immediately to get rid of them. Failure to do so could lead to significant damage to your plants and your property.