The two main pests in Southern California are snails and those big nasty green catipillars.


Sprinkle the iron-phosphate based bait around the plants. Don't let any of the tomato plants leaves' touch the ground. Snails take the shortcut up the plant. Beware of hiding places for the snails around your plants. Old pieces of wood. nearby flower planters, piles of rocks or anywhere they can hide during the day. I also go out at night with a flash light when there are problems, but haven't really had any issues the last few years except when they were small.

Big Green Catapillars

There is a simple solution for these. BT. Just sprinkle it on the plants, or spray it if you get the liquid type. Don't wait till you see them. Spray it on as soon as the plants are about 2 feet tall, then once a month after. Otherwise watch for them and pick them off. You can follow the trail of devestated plant stems, or look around for the little brown turds. See the section on inspecting your plants for more.