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by Joseph Marincel
Q. I have found tiny red worms by my tomato plants and have found small holes in ripe tomatoes. What might they be?
Tomato Dirt responds ...
A. Sounds like tomato fruit worms.
Tomato fruit worms can be cream, yellow, green, red, or brown. They feed on leaves, stems, and fruit. Worms (larvae) enter fruit, usually at the stem end, and can work their way through the entire tomato. The entry hole can be up to the size of a pea.
They attack a tomato by tunneling. The worm consumes the tomato’s interior and leaves a cavity filled with fluid and droppings. The tomato quickly decays and rots. Once tomatoes have been attacked by fruitworms, the fruit is no longer usable. Pick and discard them.
How to treat tomato fruit worms
Prevention is the most effective way to control worms (see below). Once larvae enter fruit, they cannot be treated directly, since they’re protected by the tomato’s exterior. But before that happens, you can take these precautions.
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