Get Rid Of Tomato Worms With A Common Kitchen Ingredient You Already Have

There's nothing worse than tending to your young tomato plants all season, only to discover later that a hoard of tomato worms has ripped through them. Rather than enjoying the bounty of your hard labor, you instead have to chuck them in the trash or compost bin. These pests are called tomato hornworms, and they're actually very large caterpillars with a "horn" on their tail, hence their name. Not only do they use the tomato plant as sustenance, but they also use it to deposit their eggs. Once they begin to grow, they munch on the leaves and burrow holes in the fruit. If you're not quick, they can eat all the leaves on a single plant, leaving one lonely stalk behind. To say they wreak havoc is to put it mildly. Luckily, there's one kitchen staple that can help you get rid of tomato worms: cornstarch.

Not only will this handy ingredient help you thicken stews, but it'll help you eradicate this pest from your vegetable patch. This is a great tomato gardening hack to try since most people already have cornstarch in their pantry. This negates the need to run out to the store to buy a specialty product you might only use several times before retiring it on a shelf, saving you both time and money — and clutter space.

How to use cornstarch to remove tomato hornworms

If you've spotted a tomato hornworm on your tomato plant's leaves, you need to jump into action, stat. If you let the issue linger for too long, the worms might decimate the entire plant. The good news is that you don't need a lot of cornstarch to get rid of them, so you can use whatever leftovers you have in your container. All you'll need is about ¼-cup of cornstarch for every three plants and a kind of sifter to distribute it evenly. Simply bring the cornstarch outside and pour it through a sifter a little at a time, sprinkling it over the leaves and tomatoes. You can also distribute it on the dirt since the caterpillars end up burrowing underground once they're ready to turn into moths.

This hack works because the added texture not only makes it difficult for the caterpillars to move on the leaves and fruits but will also kill them when they eat the cornstarch. Since the leaves will be covered with it, when the pest tries to nibble on the foliage, it'll pick up the starch granules instead.