All Things Gardening forum: gross gross gross

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Name: Michelle
Pleasant Lake MI (Zone 6a)
Region: Michigan Canning and food preservation Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Mizshelli
Aug 2, 2016 8:49 AM CST
Found this jerk and 8 more of his friends on my tomatoes this morning....
So disgusting!!!
Thumb of 2016-08-02/Mizshelli/5c09ab

Is treise an dúchas ná an oiliúint.
(Nature is stronger than nurture)
michellephinneysmith.com
Name: James
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b)
(Heat zone - 9, Sunset zone - 28)
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JamesAcclaims
Aug 2, 2016 8:52 AM CST
It's so cute! Lovey dubby
I am not an early bird or a night owl--I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 2, 2016 8:54 AM CST
Yup, they are tobacco hornworms (closely related to tomato hornworms but they eat both). Good thing you found them, and keep an eye out for any more because they can completely de-foliate a tomato plant in a couple of days. Voracious!

Picking them off by hand is the most effective method. We get them at the school garden each year, and the kids think it is the most fun thing ever to pick those big guys off the plants and let them crawl around on their gloves.

They metamorphose into a really neat looking huge, night-flying moth.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 2, 2016 8:56 AM CST
Oh yes, the dreaded tomato hornworm. They can defoliate a plant in no time flat. Glare If you also grow Daturas, keep an eye open for them. They're is also one of their favorite meals.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 2, 2016 8:59 AM CST
Cross posted Elaine. *Blush* The tobacco hornworm? Hadn't heard that name. How can they be told apart?

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 2, 2016 9:04 AM CST
They're very similar, Tara but the tomato hornworm has a dark brown "horn" when they're mature, and slightly different markings on its body, more like spots than stripes. The ones with the red "horn" and diagonal stripes are tobacco hornworms.

I had to look it up so that I could tell the kids at school the right info. Even Wikipedia's entry for it has the two mixed up, and pictures of both types in there.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Michelle
Pleasant Lake MI (Zone 6a)
Region: Michigan Canning and food preservation Keeper of Poultry Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Mizshelli
Aug 2, 2016 9:06 AM CST
Didn't know they were different. I actually found more of the ones with spots on them than the ones with stripes. All I know is, they had better stay off my tomatoes or I will feed them to my chickens!!!!!
Is treise an dúchas ná an oiliúint.
(Nature is stronger than nurture)
michellephinneysmith.com
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 2, 2016 9:08 AM CST
Thanks Elaine! Wouldn't have known that. You taught me something new today! Thumbs up Thank You!
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
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robynanne
Aug 2, 2016 2:55 PM CST
That thing is HUGE. No way could I squish that without horking. Ugh.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 2, 2016 3:06 PM CST
Yeah, I thought feeding them to the chickens was a great idea, there. I used to bring them home with me from school after the kids were finished looking at them, and put them on the net under my bird feeders. The blue jays would fight over them.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: KadieD
Oceania, Mariana Islands (Zone 11b)
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Rainbow
Aug 2, 2016 3:09 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:
They metamorphose into a really neat looking huge, night-flying moth.


These caterpillars of the night-flying moths eat the leaves of one of my shade trees. (I have yet to find them on my tomatoes or other plants.) My big pitbull-mastiff dog that isn't afraid of anyone or anything is afraid of those caterpillars when they fall off the tree and unto the ground near his dog house. He barks like mad over that caterpillar. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Aug 2, 2016 3:12 PM CST
I try to get a couple of "extra" cherry tomatoes or patch of nicotiana going, so I have a place to put the hornworms if I find them. They blend in pretty well, but the chomped leaves and dark frass (caterpillar poo doo) gives their location away. They do turn into a very cool "hummingbird moth," which you may see hovering and dipping into flowers in the evening.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
Aug 2, 2016 7:05 PM CST
I really like the Hummingbird Moths so I also keep a sacrifice tomato plant on the other side of the property that I can put them on.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 2, 2016 7:14 PM CST
Mizshelli said:Found this jerk and 8 more of his friends on my tomatoes this morning....
So disgusting!!!
Thumb of 2016-08-02/Mizshelli/5c09ab



LOL -- they seem less disgusting if you picture them as the hummingbird moths buzzing around in the flowers... Smiling
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EllaRollins12
Aug 2, 2016 10:41 PM CST
It looks disgusting. My cousin used to purchase ladybugs and green lacewings to git rid of these horn worms. They are the natural predators to control these worms. Else you can kill it by handpicking and placing them in a bucket of water..
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 3, 2016 6:12 AM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:

I had to look it up so that I could tell the kids at school the right info. Even Wikipedia's entry for it has the two mixed up, and pictures of both types in there.


I don't know if you want to go this far to show the kids the differerence, Elaine, but the Entomological Society of America has a video on this page (not for the squeamish Hilarious! )

https://entomologytoday.org/2013/12/14/how-to-tell-the-diffe...
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Aug 3, 2016 8:23 AM CST
Awesome, fun video!! I think most kids would love it Green Grin!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Aug 3, 2016 11:03 AM CST
Ella, I think ladybug larvae would have to catch the hornworms in a very small stage! My tolerance for them is helped along by the fact that I don't see many... I seem to be well supplied with the wasp that parasitizes them. if you see eggs on one, leave it alone. :-)

Thumb of 2016-08-03/critterologist/09d06c

There are some other very cool photos (that I didn't take) in the article I wrote a while back... http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1270

I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Aug 3, 2016 6:57 PM CST
Those little freaks do a number on my peppers and potatoes as well. I love the moths but when I see the catapillars, I raise my fist into the air, yell out " Cry havoc!!! And let slip the bypass pruners of war!" Grumbling Grumbling Grumbling
[Last edited by josebaca - Aug 4, 2016 7:17 AM (+)]
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Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
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kittriana
Aug 12, 2016 9:49 PM CST
I love the hawk moths, chuckl, however, I do reduce them... tortoises - the land one not a turtle- eat them like candy and pet stores sometimes will buy them from you if they know they are healthy, so they can feed the tortoise.
kitt

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