Jalapeño pest

Asked January 6, 2018, 12:19 PM EST

Hello, what can I do to rid my jalapeño plants of that worm that’s got like white rice stuck on its back. Well not really warm it’s more like a Catapillar it easy the leaves from the plant so what can I do to prevent those creatures from coming out.thank you

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

Based on your description you may be referring to the tomato/tobacco hornworm.
Large hornworms are often parasitized by wasps. The cocoons of Braconid wasps look like grains of rice attached to the hornworm's back. Do not kill parasitized hornworms! Let the wasps complete their lifecycle so they can multiply. A parasitized hornworm stops eating and eventually dies.
Tilling garden soil in spring or fall may expose and kill the pupae. No insecticides are necessary. If not parasitized, handpick and drop into soapy water. See our vegetable pest profile for photos and prevention and control techniques. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/tobaccotomato-hornworm-vegetables