The Enemy -- Tomato Horn Worm
This is the evil tomato Horn Worm. He camouflages himself on your tomato plant and gnaws his way through the stalks, just when plump green tomatoes have begun feed the fantasy of having so many tomatoes you might even have to give some away. One morning you are lovingly watering your tomatoes, inspecting the blossoms, admiring the fruit, and sniffing the fragrant basil plants thriving in the same pot. Next day you come outside and the whole plant has keeled over...hacked to smithereens by something you'd swear has teeth.
But no, the culprit is not a squirrel, or a chipmunk or a deer. It's a green worm with horns that hides under the leaves of your plant, lays eggs and gets into the soil, so you've got to get rid of them, literally handpick them (UGH) out of the plant. The larvae blend in with the plant canopy, and therefore go unnoticed until most of the damage is done. Wasps are the horn worm's natural predator, but honestly, who would want to even attempt to catch and release a wasp.
The horn worm likes nightshade plants and will also attack eggplant, pepper and potatoes. This is one hungry and vicious garden predator. Last Friday I bought two tomato plants to replace the ones my horn worm killed, and they were destroyed overnight before I even got them out of their peat pots! Tomato lovers beware.