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Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  Pollinator on 6/27/2013, 3:52 pm

@brainchasm wrote:
I kill the ones trying to make nests on my house, unfortunately, but I don't kill the ones that visit to drink from my pool.

Never knew paper wasps were worm-hunters!  They're doing a piss-poor job though.

I've never seen paper wasps visit a pool, though other wasps and bees do so. But I think you've just provided the answer to your final remark.

You never have them in great numbers, but I rate the health of the garden by seeing the paper wasps on patrol in and among the plants.
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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  brainchasm on 6/27/2013, 4:01 pm

@sanderson wrote:BC,  I think it's kind of neat.  Another experiment!  Is he inside or outdoors?  What will you do once he pupates?  I mean, you've already named him!!  Smile

Off thread:

I once picked up an American cockroach egg capsule at a bakery when I worked as a health inspector.  I put it in my shirt pocket intending to add it to the office specimen collection.  I forgot about it and that Friday evening, I found in and put it on my dresser.  Sunday evening it dawned on me that I didn't know when the babies inside would hatch, so I put it in a jar.  That night, they hatched!  Thank goodness I had finally put the capsule in a jar!
He is indoors; I keep him in the garage. I think I read that their growth is temperature-based, all other things being equal, and it gets pretty warm in the garage.

When he is getting ready to pupate, I'll either give him some substrate to bury himself in, or I'll put him outside, or even in a shoebox (it's apparently less about the dirt, and more about dark and quiet).

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  brainchasm on 6/27/2013, 4:02 pm

@Pollinator wrote:
@brainchasm wrote:
I kill the ones trying to make nests on my house, unfortunately, but I don't kill the ones that visit to drink from my pool.

Never knew paper wasps were worm-hunters!  They're doing a piss-poor job though.

I've never seen paper wasps visit a pool, though other wasps and bees do so. But I think you've just provided the answer to your final remark.

You never have them in great numbers, but I rate the health of the garden by seeing the paper wasps on patrol in and among the plants.
I actually see the wasps in amongst my plants fairly often. But I was finding worms faster than they were. As it is, egg-laying for hornworms might be over already; haven't found new eggs in a while, and can't see any damage that tells me a worm is about.

Glad I snagged Harry when I did!

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  brainchasm on 6/28/2013, 2:48 am

HARRY!  bounce Very Happy



This shot took a bit of setup.  Uncapped a mini maglite for bright, unfocused light. The cell phone flash was too bright up close; it kept looking overexposed.
Had to brace the cell phone on top of a beer can to eliminate shake, then max zoom, and then trying to get it to actually focus on Harry.

And of course, as soon as I took this pic and uploaded it, THEN he started eating again.

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I think my sunflower plant can take me in a fair fight...it's taller than me, and it keeps giving me dirty looks. Shocked

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  Goosegirl on 6/29/2013, 10:13 am

@will wrote:I'm only in my second year of SFG and I just had my first run in with green hornworms. They have almost destroyed four of my tomato plants in less then a week. I have pulled about 25 of them off in the last couple of days. I need some advice, please
Will - Missed that this was your first post.  welcome  to the forum!  I have no real advice for the hormworms, as I have not seen a live one in 25 years - not since growing toms in CA.  There I just picked them off and threw them over the fence onto the busy street!  Evil or Very Mad  What have you been doing about them since your post, and how has it been working?  Inquiring minds want to know!

GG
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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  will on 6/30/2013, 8:50 am

@Goosegirl wrote:
@will wrote:I'm only in my second year of SFG and I just had my first run in with green hornworms. They have almost destroyed four of my tomato plants in less then a week. I have pulled about 25 of them off in the last couple of days. I need some advice, please
Will - Missed that this was your first post.  welcome  to the forum!  I have no real advice for the hormworms, as I have not seen a live one in 25 years - not since growing toms in CA.  There I just picked them off and threw them over the fence onto the busy street!  Evil or Very Mad  What have you been doing about them since your post, and how has it been working?  Inquiring minds want to know!

GG
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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  camprn on 6/30/2013, 2:13 pm

I try to grow all my food in the garden organically. One of the tasks as part of integrated pest management is daily visual inspection. The sooner I know there is a problem, the sooner and least intense intervention is typically required. Hand picking is the best thing I have found for most types of foliage eating worms, and beetles.

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  walshevak on 7/5/2013, 9:02 pm

As I was giving the entire garden a neem spraying this morning I found hornworm frass and 2 small leaf stems with no leaf.  I searched that plant up and down, running my fingers under leaves and along stems.  Never found the beast.  So I soaked that plant an extra amount.  Is it possible the birds got him?  I have robins and mockingbirds in my trees and my neighbor has 2 purple martin houses with lots of tenants.

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/5/2013, 10:27 pm

Alright Kay, I just got the shivers just thinking about you actually touching a horn worm! My vote is yes the birds got it!
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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  Pollinator on 7/6/2013, 10:12 am

@walshevak wrote:As I was giving the entire garden a neem spraying this morning I found hornworm frass and 2 small leaf stems with no leaf.  I searched that plant up and down, running my fingers under leaves and along stems.  Never found the beast.  So I soaked that plant an extra amount.  Is it possible the birds got him?

More likely assassin bugs. They keep my tomatoes clean.

I have very few insect pests in my garden, squash borers and pickleworm are the only ones that give me any problem. The garden is full of insect life, yet the pests pretty much disappear before they can do damage. The borers and pickleworms get their protection from being inside the plants.

Now if only I could get to the point of similar success with tomato disease!

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  jazzycat on 7/7/2013, 7:56 pm

@Pollinator wrote:
@walshevak wrote:As I was giving the entire garden a neem spraying this morning I found hornworm frass and 2 small leaf stems with no leaf.  I searched that plant up and down, running my fingers under leaves and along stems.  Never found the beast.  So I soaked that plant an extra amount.  Is it possible the birds got him?

More likely assassin bugs. They keep my tomatoes clean.

I have very few insect pests in my garden, squash borers and pickleworm are the only ones that give me any problem. The garden is full of insect life, yet the pests pretty much disappear before they can do damage. The borers and pickleworms get their protection from being inside the plants.

Now if only I could get to the point of similar success with tomato disease!


Pollinator, you live in coastal SC, I live in coastal GA, so I assume we have similar climates and weather patterns.  What is it you do that you have no pest issues?  Do you plant certain kinds of plants to attract certain beneficials?  

This is my first year, so it's been frustrating, to say the least.  I do see a lot of bees, every time I'm in the garden in fact.  I have seen a wasp once or twice, but I don't know if it was a "paper" wasp.  Mostly I've had foliage issues, but not so many pest issues, other than things like ants and pill bugs, of which I have an overabundance.  And up until about a week ago I had no worm issues.  Then, I went out one day to check the garden (in between all the rain), and they were ALL OVER my radishes!  Must've picked off about 30 of them and smushed them!  (They were only in the radish leaves.)  But something had also eaten about half the leaves off one of my pepper plants.  And today, I found some little worm holes in a few of my tomatoes, and one crawling into a tomato!  Yuckaroo!  It was a small green/black striped worm.  I pulled off any fruit that had a hole in it and threw it away.  What are those things?  It didn't look like the hornworm.  So far I haven't seen any of those.  (Thank goodness!)

I'm thinking next year, I might order some of the beneficial insects and put them in my garden.  I know they won't all stay, but maybe some of them will, and I'd rather do that than use any kind of pesticide, even natural ones.  In fact, I wonder if it would be beneficial to do that NOW...  thinking   

While we're on the subject of pests, do mosquitoes have any natural predators?  Because they just LOVE me.  Every time I go outside I get eaten alive.

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  sanderson on 7/8/2013, 3:53 am

Swallow-tail butterfly caterpillar? Can you get a photo?

Bats eat lots of mosquitoes
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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

Post  camprn on 7/8/2013, 7:24 am

Jazzy, next time, if you can manage it, snap a picture to send along. That would be the most helpful thing in identifying the critter.

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Re: Don your armor...the hornworm battle begins!

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