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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What insect is this? > Garden Pests > Caterpillars, maggots, grubs, and similar immature insects - Larger than 3/4 inch long > Tobacco budworm

Tobacco budworm
Photo Credit: Jeff Hahn, Univ. of MN Tobacco budworm
Photo Credit: Barb Gasterland

Tobacco budworm
Heliothis virescens
Size: Up to 1¾ inches long

Where/When: Commonly found on petunias, geraniums, and nicotiana, while occasionally damaging roses and other plants. Active in Minnesota during late summer.

Significance: The larva damages flowers by chewing deep holes into the buds, causing flowers to have large holes in the petals. Tobacco budworms may also eat the flower blossoms, giving them a ragged appearance.
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