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What on God's green earth....

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What on God's green earth....

Post  Selandra on 7/10/2010, 9:11 pm

Is this GIANT thing I found hanging on my tomatoes?





I thought fertilizer only worked on plants??!!
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Re: What on God's green earth....

Post  chexmix on 7/10/2010, 9:23 pm

That would be a Horn Worm. You need to get some BT to spray your plants with. They will chop down your tomatoes quickly. You might wanna go back out and check them again. They are hard to see. Look for chewed spots.
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Re: What on God's green earth....

Post  camprn on 7/10/2010, 9:36 pm

Yup tomato horn worm. Hungry, hungry caterpillar. hand picking is most effective and will not harm other creatures. there are several other posts about tomato horn worm, you can find them by using the search feature.Click this link for some Bt info
also Pesticide database


Last edited by camprn on 7/10/2010, 9:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: What on God's green earth....

Post  Selandra on 7/10/2010, 9:52 pm

Thanks!! It was just such a big surprise to see what I thought was curled up leaf and find this monster. Did check again and found a much smaller one with what looked like white eggs on it's back. My husband smooshed it for me.
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Re: What on God's green earth....

Post  Retired Member 1 on 7/10/2010, 9:59 pm

Those white eggs were braconid wasp that feeds on hornworms. If you find another with the white eggs, you might consider removing it so the wasp eggs can hatch.
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-04_braconid_wasp_on_hornworm.htm

If you haven't read it, see this thread -- it is hilarious and also informative.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/lower-south-f10/i-know-what-a-hornworm-is-now-t2470.htm?highlight=hornworm

The sad thing is the hornworm is the caterpillar for hummingbird moths and I love to watch them in action, so I always have a real dilemma whether to sacrifice a tomato plant or kill a prospective hummingbird moth.

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Re: What on God's green earth....

Post  camprn on 7/10/2010, 10:01 pm

If you find another one with the white eggs on it I would suggest you pluck the beastie from the garden and take it to the other side of the yard and let it go. The white eggs are really what you want to survive as they are the eggs of a parasitic wasp. If you allow the eggs to hatch the larva will be the death of the worm, you will have more wasps and then they will lay more eggs on more horn worms, and the cycle begins again. By the way, the wasps are very small and will not harm you.
+1 Belfry, the moths are amazing!
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Re: What on God's green earth....

Post  martha on 7/10/2010, 10:02 pm

the ones with white eggs have been invaded by braconid wasps, who are your friends. The mama wasp lays her eggs on the tomato hornworm and the little guys eat the worm from the inside. You want to look closely at the eggs (next time) and see if they have little holes on top, signifying that the little guys have flown away. Last year I had one - I cut off the branch and put it in a glass jar so the little eggs had a chance to hatch.

And yet...I am not worried about turning into an ax murderer.
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Re: What on God's green earth....

Post  Chopper on 7/10/2010, 10:27 pm

Ick, ick and again, ick. They are the only garden pest that makes me gag.

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Re: What on God's green earth....

Post  Selandra on 7/11/2010, 8:43 am

[quote="belfrybat"]Those white eggs were braconid wasp that feeds on hornworms. If you find another with the white eggs, you might consider removing it so the wasp eggs can hatch.


I wondered about that, I'm working on my knowlegde of good bug/bad bug. Well, next time I'll make sure to move it.

I actually didn't kill the really big one because I thought something that big must make a HUGE butterfly or moth, I also enjoy seeing them fly around.
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