Bondi Junction NSW, Australia
Fact Sheets
Tomato fruit borer (corn earworm) (112)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds


  • Worldwide distribution. On beans, capsicum, cotton, maize, okra, sorghum, tomato, and to a lesser extent legumes, tobacco, and many weeds. An important pest.
  • Eggs laid on tomatoes or weeds nearby. At first, the larvae feed on leaves; later, bore into flowers and fruit. Fungi and bacteria enter and cause rots.
  • In maize (corn), damage to tip of cob allows weevils to invade.
  • Natural enemies: present but often too slow to prevent damage when large numbers of moths invade an area.
  • Cultural control: remove weeds, and collect remains of crops and destroy. Scout for young caterpillars. Plant sunflowers at random as a trap crop, attracting moths to lay eggs.
  • Chemical control: Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) or NVP (against early stages). Synthetic pyrethroids, alternate with other insecticides in different groups to avoid resistance occuring, but they will kill natural enemies.

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