Hawk Moths, Tomato Hornworms, and Nightshade

I have a patch of Four O'clocks which are often visited after dark by hawk moths. My cats love to catch them and release them in the house and then run around watching as they bump against the ceiling. <sarcasm> Isn't it wonderful discovering new wildlife when you have cats?
But the moth population seems devastated some years. One year I only saw one, and this year have seen none. There was a recent message that encouraged people to leave zebra-striped caterpillars on parsley because they became butterflies, so I looked on Google to find what hawk moths eat so that I could encourage their population. I found this link: http://inside.binghamton.edu/May-June/24may01/milesresearch.html
<shock> Hawk moths are hornworms! They eat the family of plants whichincludes the potato, tomato, petunia, tobacco, and eggplant.
But the good news is that they prefer nightshade if they can find it. Should we grow poisonous nightshade to protect tomatoes? And tomatoes like to self-pollinate, but should we be concerned about cross pollination if we save seed?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"SugarChile" wrote...

I live 10 miles from the Arkansas-Missouri border. Nightshade is common here as well. I checked some by my fence and saw no caterpiller damage.

Same here, I only found one hornworm stripping leaves from a tomato one year, and I destroyed it. If there are enough plants in the future I may leave it or, better yet, try to relocate it to some nightshade.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.