Stepped out to admire my garden a few minutes ago and just about freaked .
A large green caterpillar type bug has almost completely denuded one of my
cayenne plants of it's leaves . Ate into several of the peppers too .
The interweb has helped me identify this thing as a tomato hornworm , and
I'm about to read up on how to deal with this pest .
BTW , that one is now a puddle of goo and a bit of green skin now .
Yep, the infamous Tomato Horn Worm. If your garden is small it is possible
to just look at the plants early in the morning. When I see them I take a
pair of scissors and remove them from the plant and smash them with the
heal of my boot. Sometimes I just snip them in half, the green goo squirts
out :) I find that there are not many of them and I tend to get them before
any major damage. They are not far from the chewed limbs. Check every
morning. I snip off the chewed limb so it is easier to find the pest the
next morning. Look for the chewed limbs and find the bug. In three days I
smashed nine of the insects.
In a few more days you will begin to appreciate a bug called the "Wasp".
When you start seeing the poor green bug covered by white wasp eggs that
will hatch and slowly the wasp larvae will consume the Tomato Horn Worm
while it is still alive. Oh the horrors!
Welcome to gardening :)
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)
yes, leave those ones alone so the wasps can
do their thing. they may do more damage before
the wasps finish them off, but it's a small
sacrifice to make to keep the life cycle of
the wasp going. i've yet to see any worms
with wasps, but when i do i will be glad to
let them be.
last year was not bad for tomato hornworms,
the year before we had about 25, this season
we have not had any so far, but will start
looking. usually we haven't seen them until
the first few weeks of August, but with you
two writing about them i'll have to go out
and take a closer look tomorrow morning to
be sure. i looked them over pretty good
(for poo sign) yesterday and didn't see
any chewed leaves or poo nuggets on the
ground (another easy way to find them also
if you have bare earth under the plants
instead of mulch) but a second look is
and how quickly they can go from not
being seen to suddenly showing up.
we checked the other day and didn't see
any. then the next day there were three
(one big one and two smaller ones) and
today there were none that we could find.
I've only seen one tomato hornworm in about 10 years--- And it was
covered with wasp eggs! He/she managed to eat about 1/2 of a
branch of tomato before being consumed [from the inside] by the little
wasps. The dried out carcass remained on the end of that branch
for weeks. Made me smile every time I walked by.
We found one munching on one of our parsley plants a couple of years ago
and moved it to another less important plan in the garden.
But when I looked it up and read that the parsley was the only plant we
had that it would eat, we found it and put it back.
There was only one caterpillar and we had a lot of parsley.
Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN firstname.lastname@example.org
We grow rue (ruta graveolens) for the swallowtails. It's a tough plant,
self sows readily, perennial in zone 5 and really does draw the
swallowtails. It's also reputed to give the swallowtails a bad taste.
The drawback is having to avoid skin contact with rue you because you
can get burns from it.
That's the one critter I share with. both the caterpillar and the
butterfly are too beautiful to resent. Parsley, dill, carrots. . ..
I might move him to a Queen Anne's lace if it looks like I have more
caterpillars than 'browse'.
I plucked two more this morning . This time from a couple of tomato plants
. I have cantalopes running under the tomatoes , the poo piles on the leaves
led me right to the little horned buggers .
I'm puzzled , why have I never had a problem with these before ? This is
only the second year for 'maters in this location , and I didn't have any
last year . And I've never seen a moth that fits the description given in
the several articles I've read .
you young !
pots on my deck 10 feet above ground. I've got a plant below the deck,
at ground level, that was untouched. Can't recall any problems last
year and don't know what moth looks like, but they must be around.
Yup , they're big moths . And that's what puzzles me , because I've never
seen one that size . We're bird watchers (well , kinda) and I'm pretty sure
that a moth the size of a hummingbird would attract our attention .
We have both hummingbirds and hummingbird moths that visit our
Monarda. My husband named the moths "humbugs." There are several
varieties of Hummingbird moth and the one that appears here is not the
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