Tomato fruitworm


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Tomato fruitworm
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Mixed Material
Benson, Mary F
United States -- Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture ( Washington, D.C. )
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aleph - 030256345
oclc - 86173736
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a, Female moth (or adult) with wings spread; b, male moth with
wings in natural position; c, eggs; d, larva; e, pupa (or transforma-
tion stage) in its cell in the soil; f, larva feeding on tomato fruit,

showing typical injury. (a, b, and f about two-thirds natural size;
c about 7 times natural size; e about 1, times natural size.)

(See other side for life history and control)
Bureau of Entom- lr-gv an I Plant Quar4n'ne P r S e 1
United States Dprurtrnt of Agriculture Picture Sheet No. 13

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Life History
The tomato fruitworm, or corn earworm, occurs over the entire
United States, being destructive to several crops besides tomatoes,
cotton, and corn. Annually it is a serious pest of tomatoes in the
Southern States and in California. Periodically it occurs in suffi-
cient numbers in other sections to cause considerable damage. In
the extreme South the moths may emerge as early as January from
the pupal cells which were formed in the ground by the larvae, or
"wormNNs," the preceding fall. The majority, however, appear later
in the spring. Shortly after emergence the female moth begins to
lay her eggs. These eggs are somewhat smaller than the head of
a common pin and are laid singly on the leaves of the plant. The
larvae that hatch from these eggs crawl for a short time over the
leaves of the plant, feeding sparingly, and eventually find their way
to the fruits, into which they cut holes or burrow, usually at the
stem end. One worm may feed within a single tomato until full-
grown, or it may move from one tomato to another, injuring sev-
eral before it enters one to complete its growth. The full-grown
worms leave the fruit, enter the soil, and transform into the pupal
or resting stage. There may be two or more broods a season.
The most satisfactory remedy so far developed for the control
of this pest is to apply to the tomato foliage either a cryolite or a
calcium arsenate dust or a mixture of corn meal and cryolite. The
commercial undiluted cryolites contain from 80 to 95 percent of
sodium fluoaluminate, and these should be diluted with talc so that
the dust which is applied to the crop will contain approximately 70
percent of the sodium fluoaluminate. The corn meal mixture is pre-
pared by mixing 1 pound of cryolite with 10 pounds of corn meal.
The calcium arsenate is used undiluted.
The most satisfactory control will be obtained by making three
applications of either the cryolite or calcium arsenate dust. The
first application should be made when the plants average from 1 to 2
feet across. The second and third applications should follow at
intervals of 10 to 15 days. On tomato fields with an average of
1,000 plants per acre the dust should be applied at the following rate
per acre: 10 pounds for the first, 20 pounds for the second, and 30
pounds for the last application. The dust should be so applied that
it will cover all the foliage, especially the growing tips and outer
leaves of the plant. The corn meal bait should be used at the fol-
lowing rate per acre: 40 pounds for the first, 60 pounds for the
second, and 80 pounds for the third application.
Caution: Cryolite and calcium arsenate are poisons, and their
use as insecticides on the tomato crop may leave an undesirable
residue on the fruit,.which should be removed by either washing
or wiping before the fruit is marketed or eaten.

February 1941 i,-r,,r,, U.q S. Government Printing Office
For sale by the Supl.rintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.-Price 5 cents

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