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I know what a hornworm is now

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I know what a hornworm is now

Post  ralitaco on 5/26/2010, 9:15 pm

We had some bad weather roll thru and 2 of my tomato plants in their cheap wire cages fell over. I tried to stand them upright, but the cages were mangled. I purchased some "Ultomato" cages. Anyway, I cut the wire cages apart and as I was positioning the plants in their new cages, I found out what a hornworm is.
At first I found 2 or 3 about the size of a AAA battery. Then I found some about the size of a AA battery. Then I found some the size of the fuselage on the space shuttle. Can I just say EWWWWWW!!!!!!

Now being the big brave man that I am, I decided to pull them off with my bare hands and put them in a bucket until I figured out what to do with them. (thinking fishing bait)
Now I want you to picture this, I am a big guy, it was raining so I put my bright yellow poncho on over my shorts. so now I look like a gigantic lemon with naked legs. Anyhow, the little ones were no problem. I grabbed them in the middle and with a gentle tug they came off the stem and willingly submitted to my superior intellect, strength and size. It was when I pulled the big ones off, that the scenario took a 180 degree turn. That **** thing spun around twisted and flicked. I just knew it was going to jab me with that Giant horn on its head. Of course I did what any big brave man would do...I flung the sucker before it could pierce my very delicate flesh. Unfortunately, I flung it in the middle of my 4x4 box. So I had to reach in and pick it up again. This time it deficated on me and I swear I heard it growl. Then it bore it's 6 claws at its butt and tried to plunge them into me...so I flung it again. I came close to the bucket but had to pick up that vicious creature one more time. In order to save some of my dignity, I used the super quick, swoop, grab, wrist snapping toss to get the blood sucker in the bucket.
At least nobody witnessed that...well...
can I just tell you how glad I am that I don't own a video camera because my wife came out the back door laughing herself silly as she was watching this whole saga unfold from the kitchen window. Mind you she didn't want to touch those darn things either.

Well I guess I know what a hornworm is now!


Last edited by ralitaco on 5/26/2010, 9:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  ralitaco on 5/26/2010, 9:17 pm

I forgot...
I have since looked them up on the internet and now know that the horn is not on its head and the claws are not by its rear.

One more thing, I have figured out is that I didn't have deer visit my yard and eat the top of my 3rd tomato plant. Apparently those 2 big hornworms I found on that plant decided to start at the top and work their way down.
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  boffer on 5/26/2010, 9:18 pm

funny post rofl
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  ralitaco on 5/26/2010, 9:24 pm

boffer, that's what my wife looked like when she came outside.

Also here is a good link about hornworms.

http://www.entomology.k-state.edu/DesktopModules/ViewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=4175
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  martha on 5/26/2010, 9:25 pm



(Although we still need an emoticon that shows laughing so hard you are crying.)
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/26/2010, 9:35 pm

Then it bore it's 6 claws at its butt and tried to plunge them into
me...so I flung it again. I came close to the bucket but had to pick up
that vicious creature one more time.
Im dying !! I cant stand those things and their poo looks like a grenade ! I have pictures of last years !! I for one do not pick up worms or these things. I will find a shovel or what ever to pick it up. I wont even bait my own hook if its worms, I prefer dry flies. So in the future carry some tongs!! Im still laughing !! And boy do I know how much one of those fat worms can eat. Our horned worms go to the chickens a great treat for the girls. Im grateful I have sons that will come save their Mom from the dangers of the garden pests.
laughing as she signs out !!!
Ha-v-v
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  pattipan on 5/26/2010, 9:35 pm

Too funny!!! I am still wiping the laughter tears!

Pattipan
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Wyldflower on 5/26/2010, 9:39 pm

darn funny Ohhh that's FUNNY!!!!
I don't want to touch those things either, so I'd better keep my garden gloves handy for any encounter with those boogie woogie nasties!
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  martha on 5/26/2010, 9:49 pm

Ha-v-v, now I have to go do a Google image search for "tomato hornworm poo" - do you know what strange things I am going to get in my e-mail?
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/26/2010, 10:03 pm

Here are pic from last years garden, this creepy fellow ate my cherry tomatoes !! I am going to share them with you Smile

garden gloves handy for any encounter with those boogie woogie nasties!

I wont even touch em with gloves on !!! icko !!!

But it makes for good pics and lessons !!
Ha-v-v



The ants took revenge on this guy as well, I had the guys take him to the chickens.

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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Chopper on 5/26/2010, 11:17 pm

I hate hornworms! I alerted the grandkids and showed them a picture. They are fascinated and look for them every time they are in the garden. They are quite the camouflage experts, tho. My technique is to pull them off as quickly as possible and drop them on the ground and step on them while trying to control my gag reflex.

I haven't seen any yet, or their damage, but they always come. How? Where are they when I am not growing tomatoes?

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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  chocolatepop on 5/27/2010, 10:37 am

eww eww creepy eww icky eww.

Here is a picture a friend of mine took, it certainly gives you a sick sense of gratification. So cool huh?


For those that don't know, those are preditory wasp eggs. The larvae basically eats the worm from the inside out
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  camprn on 5/27/2010, 11:25 am

chocolatepop wrote:

For those that don't know, those are preditory wasp eggs. The larvae basically eats the worm from the inside out
When I see these with the wasp eggs on them I remove the worm and walk it way away from my garden and I do not kill it. I want the predatory wasp eggs to hatch, which will bring more of them to my garden.
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  jkdistad on 5/27/2010, 12:37 pm

Oh man, that was funny! Thanks, I needed that this morning! Now I'm petrified at the thought of finding one of those boogers in my garden! EEEEEEP! But I have a robin's nest under my deck near my garden, and I frequently see mom and dad in my garden, so maybe they will help keep a sharp eye out for any creepy crawlies...? One can hope, right? At least, I hope that's all they do in my garden... anybody know if robins are vegetarians? I have generously housed them under my deck for several years now... I just hope they remain respectful house-guests!

Anyway, thanks for the laughs, ralitaco! Too bad you don't own a video camera... it sounds like it was perfect AFV material!
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Gilligan on 5/27/2010, 2:46 pm

That's a GREAT story and it gave me a good laugh, probably because we all have been there at one time (minus the yellow poncho); trying to look tough around them but scared to death their horn will puncture our skin and go to the bone. Thanks for the story!
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Weedless_ on 5/27/2010, 3:44 pm

Oh, gawd... I think I saw the "final product" of hornworm in my yard - my kid was staring at it and saying "what pretty butterfly"...
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  timwardell on 5/27/2010, 3:52 pm

I find that cutting them in half with a pair of scissors or garden clippers makes them MUCH easier to remove! They don't hold on nearly as tightly! Very Happy
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/27/2010, 5:57 pm

timwardell wrote:I find that cutting them in half with a pair of scissors or garden clippers makes them MUCH easier to remove! They don't hold on nearly as tightly! Very Happy

GAG!!!

I daintily and carefully with thick leather gloves pick them off while wimpering all the time. I'm a big girl so I no longer scream and run from creepy crawlies (at least outward). When I had chickens all I had to do is flick it over towards them. I don't know what I'll do since I'm now a city girl. I don't think the cats will touch one.

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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  chocolatepop on 5/27/2010, 6:22 pm

timwardell wrote:I find that cutting them in half with a pair of scissors or garden clippers makes them MUCH easier to remove! They don't hold on nearly as tightly! Very Happy

As a kid my mother in law would pay my husband to remove the. He would then put them in a jar of gasoline, and light them on fire, such a farmer boy Wink
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Weed 'em and Reap on 5/31/2010, 10:21 am

I loved your story! I just cut off the branch that they're holding on to, then put the branch in a ziplock bag and throw it away.
Let me see if I can post a picture or two of last year's hornworms:


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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Odd Duck on 6/7/2010, 12:45 pm

Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Too funny! Still giggling and picturing the lemon with naked legs, the flicking, the reflicking, the re-reflicking!

Such creative solutions from everyone else, too.

I just do the pick and big flick technique. I brace myself (cuz I KNOW it's going to be gross and thrash around) and I pluck it off and do a giant flick into the middle of the lawn (cuz it'll at least cook in our heat before it can get back to my tomatoes). Usually a bird swoops down and eats it almost as soon as it hits the grass. That's pretty gratifying, too, knowing it's going to be a "tasty" [gag] meal for a bird. And I think the birds have learned to watch me while I'm in the garden, just waiting for something to get "flicked".

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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Shoda on 6/7/2010, 1:58 pm

Those are disgusting pictures and they bring back many fond memories (NOT). First time I saw a tomato hornworm, I heard it first. It was years ago and I was standing in my garden of tomato plants and I could hear a crunching sound. Imagine my shock when I discovered those disgusting things!

It was almost as bad as the broccoli my mom steamed for dinner with the broccoli worms still attached! I was about 10 at the time and didn't eat broccoli for weeks. My mom? She shrugged, picked it out and told me that it was just a little extra protein.
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Hornworm Video

Post  Weed 'em and Reap on 6/30/2010, 12:25 pm

And I thought I had the biggest hornworm in the pictures I posted!

Watch this video on YouTube (from Johnny's Seeds) to see the BIGGEST hornworm ever!!!
And the guy even lets it crawl on his hand without flinching even a tiny bit! Whoa!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxMvnblOkoQ&feature=player_embedded
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  Ha-v-v on 6/30/2010, 12:35 pm

Awesome video of that worm!! That worm was huge !! I take one of my sons or husband for the worm hunting. I am so grateful to them. Now folks if I had to I would remove it myself with a pair of scissors and be self sufficient but they still give me the heebs !!! We get quite a few but they are food for the chickens Smile They like them.
We hunt every day for signs of them and Im always amazed at how much they can eat.
Happy Worm Hunting
Ha-v-v
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Re: I know what a hornworm is now

Post  cansaskgard on 6/30/2010, 12:48 pm

I am just going to crawl under something and hide now... That is just nasty. I dread the day I come across one.
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