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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 12:30 PM
Original message
Dealing with Tomato Hornworms.
If you grow tomatoes, you will have Hornworms.
Even people who grow tomatoes indoors occasionally get Hornworms.
They are pretty gross, but there are easy ways to deal with them.

They can be hard to spot on bushy plants.
You will see their effect before you see the worm.
Look for the little dark green to black shit pellets on leaves or on the ground under the plant.
Most noticeably, the area where a hornworm has been feeding will be denuded of leaves and flowers overnight. Look closely in the area where your leaves have disappeared....there is a Hornworm nearby.
They move to the interior during the day, and come out in the evenings to dine on the tender new growth. It is generally easier to find them in the evenings or early mornings.

Hornworms laugh at organic control methods.
Hand Picking is the only way to deal with them,
but you don't have to touch them.
Simply clip off the branch they have been feeding on and use that to carry them to whatever painful death you have designed.

*Clip off the branches where they have been feeding. This will make it much easier to spot new hornworms. You won't have to try and remember if you already killed the worm in that area. If you see signs of feeding, you have a new worm.

Since we got our chickens, we LOVE to find Hornworms.





Elvis (our young rooster) goes medieval on their ASS!

Finding a HornWorm is now a spectator event.
We save the worm until we both can watch and cheer.


There is also this, but it is grosser than just killing the worm outright.



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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Parasitic wasps?
Edited on Wed Jul-16-08 03:14 PM by MuseRider
A spectator sport, lol. I can understand that. I did try feeding them to the geese out here but they would have none of it. You have to kill them? OK, I will need to toughen up a bit.

Even those pictures make me feel awful. I HATE them. I never thought of clipping off the branch. That is a great idea.

Edit to add....Elvis is adorable!
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Elvis says, "Thank You very much...thank you...thank you.."
Edited on Wed Jul-16-08 05:18 PM by bvar22


He crowed for the first time on Sunday.
We were like..."What the hell was that? Was that Elvis?"


It did sound a ittle like the opening bars of Love Me Tender.
:)
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Oh god I can't breathe!
Too funny.

I'll bet if you had seen him he would have had that :wtf: look on his face after his first crow and then started primping and strutting all over the place. How funny. He is a looker.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. SEVIN works very well for me
Just a few shakes on the plant and they will die in a short period of time and just fall of the plant.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Sevin is interesting....
....but we also keep Honeybees, and Sevin is highly toxic for bees.
If they bring it back into the hive in their pollen sacks, the whole hive can die.

We'll keep picking them off and feeding them to the chickens.

How are the Creoles this year?
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I just use the bare minimum of SEVIN but it is very effective
Last year my Creole Crop was horrible, this year outstanding. I just can't figure it out. This year's were plentiful and extremely tangy, just the way I like them. I Put our second crop in two weekends ago. I'm having to water them almost every day as the heat is pretty damn oppressive of late.

Thanks for the Bee info about Sevin.
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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. I've already ordered the little killers to kill the worms.
This is a great site that I found, of course, right here-
http://www.buglogical.com/index.asp

If you've got it, this site has something that kills it.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I always hestitate to introduce
Edited on Wed Jul-16-08 07:37 PM by hippywife
one pest to take care of another. There have been many unforeseen and disastrous consequences from doing that in many places around the world. I really dislike the idea greatly.

Be very careful, because you never know what will happen long-term when you do that.
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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I hear ya.
I've done quite a bit of reading on them so far, and if it dosn't look good, I can always choose not to release them when they come in the mail. This is the site I found them on-

http://www.buglogical.com/index.asp
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Sometimes the affects are unknown
for a very, very long time. It's just not a system I trust, especially when introducing species into an environment they are not indigenous to.

And this is very upsetting:
http://www.buglogical.com/bumblebees_control_naturalPol...

These are just non-reproducing bees. The hive has a short life span. The work and then they just die, it seems. This is just not sustainable and is very wrong, especially with the problems that already exist for bees.
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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Ok, ok, so I guess it's back to the chopsticks.
But I do hate the little buggers and I want them to, well, be gone.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-17-08 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Not busting your chops here, sweetie.
Just wanting people to realize that sometimes what seems like an easy, elegant solution can have a terrible price. :hug:
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. We had a short lived invasion
on our potato plants, and they are near the chicken pen. When they would see me checking the plants, they would come over and cheer me on! LOL They knew it was good eats if I found any. Good idea about trimming off the stem they've already munched, but some of our potato plants sprouted new leaves on some of those stalks, believe it or not. They are really hard little buggers to convince to let go though. I hate to touch them and either us a stick or wear gloves.

Congratulations to Elvis and his proud parents. LOL
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-08 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. I use tongs to remove them, then drop them in a bucket
of water. Then I put them on the driveway and the birds come in for the feast. I love the pictures of Elvis enjoying his treats. The hawkmoths that begat these nasty buggers are beautiful though. When I first saw them, I thought they were a kind of hummingbird and even posed a question in the bird forum about them. It's amazing how quickly they grow into their full size--almost overnight.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-17-08 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
14. Ok, what is attaching themselves to the hornworm in the third frame?...eom
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-17-08 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Those are the cacoons ....
....of a small parasitic wasp that lays its eggs on the tomato hornworm.


"Tomato hornworm larvae are also parasitized by a number of insects. One of the most common is a small braconid wasp, Cotesia congregatus. Larvae that hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons appear as white projections protruding from the hornworms body (see photo, left). If such projections are observed, the hornworms should be left in the garden to conserve the beneficial parasitoids. The wasps will kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitize."

http://www.vegedge.umn.edu/vegpest/hornworm.htm


We saw only one in the garden last year (photo) that was in this condition.
It was grosser than just a plain old hornworm.


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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-17-08 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Last week, I saw a large wasp on one of the cabbage moth caterpillars
It was probably laying eggs itself. Don't know for sure. I had just treated the cabbage plants with Bt, Bacillus Thurengensis, so the wasp was probably picking on a doomed caterpillar.

"Ain't my day"
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Gato Moteado Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-17-08 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. i think they are eggs and not coccoons.
nt
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-17-08 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
18. Dumb luck or what?
I've never had a hornworm. Yet, at least.
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