These tomatoes were brought into the house to ripen up. Since the nights were getting colder, there was no hope that the tomatoes would finish ripening on the vines. So as we were taking them down, we stripped off most of the green fruits. We then brought the trays inside to ripen.
The trays were just hangin' out on my kitchen counter, and I must have passed them by a hundred times a day. I don't know why I didn't notice this guy sooner, but all of a sudden, I caught sight of him, and Gack! Where the heck did you come from?
If this were earlier in the season, and the tomato fruitworms were starting to attack my tomatoes, I'd have to move pretty quickly to protect them. One year, I lost about a third of my crop because I didn't do anything to stop them. It was the first time they had ever been a problem in my garden, and so I kept thinking that they'd just go away. Not a good idea! Now, when I see the first signs of an infestation, I immediately go on-line and purchase eggs of the predatory insect, the Trichogramma wasp.
The Trichogramma wasp's favorite food source are caterpillars like this voracious fruitworm. But don't freak out, the wasps are so tiny, you cannot even see them. I prefer using predatory insects rather than spraying or dusting, because it's much safer and quicker. I don't have to take up valuable time mixing and applying an organic pesticide.
Fortunately, I don't have to do anything right now, though. It's the end of the tomato season, and this little guy is the last of the tomato fruitworms. For this year, at least.