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Monday, July 18, 2011

Tomato Hornworm

We've been infested!
 It seemed to happen so quickly! The tomato hornworm is difficult to see, it's like playing "Where's Waldo" since they are green and just lay along the stems and sometimes hide under leaves. Their damage is easy to detect,  the hungry munchers eat all the leaves and just leave the stems.  My running partner wanted to see our garden,  and instead of a morning run, we spent a half hour searching for these little buggers,  we found over 20! The best and most organic thing to do is to keep watch, pick them off, and smash them. I've told the kids that there is a 50 cent bounty on each hornworm brought to me dead or alive.


Beware! check your tomatoes, but they can also infest your potatoes, eggplants, and peppers. 

Update: in the comments someone asked what the moth that lays the eggs looks like. Here it is:

Image

~marisa

20 comments:

MAYBELLINE said...

Do your chickens enjoy hornworms?

Melissa said...

Your chickens will love those!

marisa said...

Great idea ladies! I didn't even think of that. What would I do without you guys?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

We feed them to our chickens as well. They go CRAZY!!!

-Sydney- said...

My chickens LOVE them! And it gives me such joy to watch them get snatched up. Take that, hornworm!

StonePath Farm said...

Thankfully, that's one pest I haven't had to deal with. I'm already busy fighting the battle of the squash beetle.

Dree said...

When I was a kid, my best friend's mom paid us a penny a worm--we even had a smashing rock. That was when candy bars were 10 cents. She had a huge tomato patch, and would can quarts and quarts and quarts. Once a week she took us to the dime store--we ate lots of chocolate and fun dips in the summer :)

MissMOE said...

What do the moths look like that lay the eggs for the tomato hornworm? I've found a great big fat moth with brown wings and a fat orange and brown body on my tomato plants. So far, I haven't seen the worms, but I'm a bit worried.

DJK said...

I don't have chickens...but there are birds that I see coming out of my garden with bright green worms in beak. But, I also hit them with BTk.

Paul and Ines said...

i've found those & what looks like mosquito eaters....are those dangerous to my mini garden ?

Alexis E. said...

Now I want some hornworms just so I can pick them off and flick them to the chickens! Ha ha. The satisfaction of both organically gardening and supplying treats to the chickens is priceless!

Paul and Ines said...

you can have mine :)

DJK said...

Eeeeeek!!

http://robins-chaos.blogspot.com/2011/06/hope-and-tomato-season-five-spotted.html

marisa said...

MissMOE, I updated the post and added a picture of what the moth looks like.

Paul and Ines, the hornworms are very dangerous to your garden! The mosquito eaters....hmmmm, I'm not sure on that one. I will let you know if I find anything out.

MissMOE said...

Thanks for the pic, Marisa. That is what we saw. So far I haven't seen the caterpillars. I'll be on the lookout.

As for mosquito eaters, they are a benifical insect.

A Joyful Chaos said...

Ewww! I always detest those worms! Hope you won't have too much trouble with them.

Blessings~

Karen said...

That's what three of my tomato plants look like! I didn't realize what it was. Guess I'll take the kids out for some worm picking. I'm really glad you posted this.

Karen said...

I just looked up pictures of these guys and just about died! My kids found one of these in the yard the other day and kept it for a pet - it died in the bug jar overnight. We're going hunting right this minute! They are so excited!

Dogwood trees Tennessee said...

Great idea ladies! I didn't even think of that. What would I do without you guys?!
Thanks for sharing..

Eleanor @ Planned Resilience said...

I had those last year. It is kind of shocking how huge they are. Luckily, I haven't had any so far this year. Maybe it is too hot for them? Though the heat doesn't seem to bother the black swallowtails a bit.