Please help identify this bug

Asked July 24, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

I have six tomato plants (beefsteak, early girl, better boy, and Cherokee purple) in a raised bed (6 feet by 8 feet by 2 feet high). The beds have very good quality soil with lots of compost. Marigolds, nasturtiums, and onions are planted around the perimeter to deter bugs. I also have some basil, borage and chives here and there. I have used zero pesticides. The tomato plants have been producing nice fruit since around the Fourth of July. Also adjacent to three of the six tomato plants are extensive vines that sprouted on their own from seeds left in my compost (which includes kitchen scraps). I let the vines grow. They are now blossoming and they appear to be squash or pumpkins. Yesterday I discovered this bug (see attached photo) on top of a tomato (a beefsteak variety). I haven't found any others but something has definitely been munching on a few of my tomatoes. I don't want to use pesticides and am willing to tolerate loss of a few tomatoes as a tradeoff. But can you identify this bug for me and suggest any organic means that I might use to get rid of them or at least keep them at bay?

District of Columbia

1 Response

Sounds like a great garden, congratulations!
This pest looks like a tomato fruit worm, which is in the cutworm family and is the larval form of a moth, which lays it's eggs in your garden.
The best method of control is to keep monitoring and hand pick any offenders, just as you have done.

Here is our IPM Tomato page which you may find helpful:
http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG56%20IPM%20Tomatoe...

cm