What Do Hornworms Eat?

Hornworms are the larvae of a moth from the Lepidoptera family. There are about 1450 species of horn moth and they can go by a variety of names such as hawk moths, sphinx moths, white-lined sphinx worms, tobacco worms, and others.

Most breeders and pet owners like to stock up on hornworm chow so there will always be something to feed these worms if you are all out of their usual fresh foods. Many manufacturers also add additional vitamins and minerals to boost the growth of these insects or to create gut-loaded foods for reptiles.

While hornworms are perfectly capable of eating tomato leaves, it isnt the best food to offer them if you are planning on using your worms as lizard feed. They can eat sliced tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, mashed celery, collard greens, red bell peppers, romaine lettuce, and raw potatoes. These leaves wont make your worms toxic since dandelion is a healthy herb that is often used in tea and other health foods.

To accomplish this, you can simply add lots of leafy greens with a little bit of fresh sliced vegetables every day. Hornworms are often labeled as pests because they tend to flock to crops to feed on foods like tomato, eggplant, pepper, tobacco, moonflowers, and potatoes.

What do I feed my hornworms?

While hornworm chow (the paste in the cup) has their complete diet, in a pinch you can also feed them Mulberry tree leaves, green tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, celery, collard greens, red bell peppers, banana peel, and dandelion leaves.

How do you keep hornworms alive?

For maximum growth, keep hornworms at about 82°F; however, they can be kept as cool as 55°F to slow their growth. To stop growth and maintain desired size and viability, place them in refrigerator at 45°F for two days and remove.

Do hornworms need food?

Hornworms eat a special food developed specifically for them. If you wish to grow yours beyond the capacity of the diet provided with them, you should purchase additional Repashy SuperHorn well before they are in danger of running out of food. If your Hornworms run out of food, feed them out as fast as you can.

Can hornworms eat fruit?

Hornworms have a voracious appetite and are best known for eating the leaves of their host plant, but they will also eat the plant’s unripe fruits.

While hornworm chow (the paste in the cup) has their complete diet, in a pinch you can also feed them Mulberry tree leaves, green tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, celery, collard greens, red bell peppers, banana peel, and dandelion leaves.

You can, however, feed them green tomatoes as mentioned above. You can also make your own homemade paste by mixing 1 cup non-toasted wheat germ, 1/3c nonfat dry milk, 4 tablespoons of agar, 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil, 1/2 tablespoon of brewers yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Mix all the dry ingredients except the agar and yeast in a blender. On low speed add the agar. Pour the mixture into a plastic tray with an airtight lid and mix in the yeast.

Hornworms, also known as Tomato Hornworms, are the larval stage of the Manduca quinquemaculata, the Hawk Moth. They are known as the Tomato hornworm as when they are in the wild. Hornworms are viewed as pests because they feed on tomato plants and other garden variety plants. Hornworms in the wild tend to be green, whereas the ones we use as feeders are more of a teal/blue due to having a different diet.

Hornworms, also known as Tomato Hornworms, are the larval stage of the Manduca quinquemaculata, the Hawk Moth. Moisture 85% Protein 9% Fat 3.07% Ash n/a Fiber n/a Calcium 464mg/kg Phosphorous 1394mg/kg

If you notice signs of overhydration regarding your pet, then cut back on the hornworms. In the wild, hornworms eat a variety of plants, but as feeder insects, a powder mix is used, which is made from mulberry leaves and formed into a paste that is added to the cups that the hornworms arrive in so they can eat it. When you buy hornworms, they arrive in a cup; a mesh will be secured to the middle of the container, which is used by the Hornworm to climb up and eat the food, which is a paste that is pressed into the top of the cup.

All you need to do is keep them upside down so that their poop falls to the bottom in the form of small brown pellets that need to be cleaned out daily. Hornworms grow VERY FAST, especially if they are kept warm, so if you want to try and keep them from becoming too big, then you will need to keep them somewhere cool that isn’t the fridge, which is too cold for them. When they begin to turn, they will become a dark brown/red color and form a hard shell.

Unfortunately, you should not release the moth into the wild as they are considered pests, and this could upset the local fauna. Every effort is always taken to ensure that your order arrives alive, we always pack more bugs into our shipments just in case. On the off chance that your order does arrive dead, just send us a photo of the dead bugs in the container they came in and we will send you a replacement or issue you a credit on your account as long as the package has not been left outside to sit for longer than 1 hour.

This doesnt happen very often, but there is always a chance we may mix up a packing slip or shipping label.

What are Hornworms?

To help you navigate our frequently asked questions on Hornworms so you can find your answer more quickly

What do hornworms eat?

In the wild, hornworms eat a variety of plants, but as feeder insects, a powder mix is used, which is made from mulberry leaves and formed into a paste that is added to the cups that the hornworms arrive in so they can eat it. You can purchase extra hornworm food if you want some extra so you can keep them from running out. Since they grow very fast, they can run out if you are planning on trying to keep them for longer than a week.

How do I keep my hornworms?

When you buy hornworms, they arrive in a cup; a mesh will be secured to the middle of the container, which is used by the Hornworm to climb up and eat the food, which is a paste that is pressed into the top of the cup. All you need to do is keep them upside down so that their poop falls to the bottom in the form of small brown pellets that need to be cleaned out daily. Try to keep the lid where it will have ventilation so they will have some air. Hornworms grow VERY FAST, especially if they are kept warm, so if you want to try and keep them from becoming too big, then you will need to keep them somewhere cool that isn’t the fridge, which is too cold for them. If they seem to be running out of food, you will want to feed them off, or they could die, you can buy extra hornworm food if this is a concern. See our guide on how to care for your hornworms for more detailed information.

How big will my hornworms get?

They will grow up to 3″ or 4″ if allowed to get to full size; depending on the temperature, this could be anything from a week to two weeks. They usually live up to 3 or 4 weeks before they either die or pupate into moths.

Does the “horn” hurt my pet?

The actual horn of the Hornworm is not hard; it is just for show to scare off predators and will not hurt your pet when the Hornworm is eaten.

What will my Hornworm turn into?

Hornworms turn into the Hawk Moth. Generally, hornworms get fed off before they have the chance to pupate. However, if you kept a couple of weeks or longer, then you may notice your hornworms pupate. When they begin to turn, they will become a dark brown/red color and form a hard shell. Eventually, they will emerge as a hawk moth. This can be a fun project to do with your kids if it does happen. Unfortunately, you should not release the moth into the wild as they are considered pests, and this could upset the local fauna.

What happens if my order arrives dead?

Every effort is always taken to ensure that your order arrives alive, we always pack more bugs into our shipments just in case. On the off chance that your order does arrive dead, just send us a photo of the dead bugs in the container they came in and we will send you a replacement or issue you a credit on your account as long as the package has not been left outside to sit for longer than 1 hour.

What if I receive the wrong item?

If you receive the wrong item, please send us a message with your order number, the item you received, and the item you were supposed to receive. We do make mistakes, but we would be happy to send a replacement order.

What if I receive someone else’s order?

This doesn’t happen very often, but there is always a chance we may mix up a packing slip or shipping label. If this happens, just send us the order number of the order you received, and your order number so we can send a replacement order.