Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Bad bugs gone good?

 

We've always heard the expression good guys gone bad, but bad guys gone good?

In the hoophouse, tomatoes were planted in late winter. During the summer they produced and produced bunches of tasty tomatoes. In the process, the tomato hornworms found them, even inside the plastic surround of the hoophouse.

There are parasitic wasps that like to feed upon these giant green monsters that devour tomato plants, and I haven't really experienced them in the hoophouse yet, so I sort of panicked when I saw so many hornworms on the tomato plants, but then I noticed that most of them were decked out with little white globules on them. "Parasitic wasps"! They did venture into the tunnel! I don't think I've ever seen so many hornworms on tomato plants, BUT I've never seen so many parasitic wasp eggs either. The hornworms that had eggs on them got to stay on the plants (it was hard to do, but I left them). These are the "Bad guys gone good". I'm hoping the parasitic wasps will find a place to winter over in the warmth of the high tunnel. The hornworms that didn't have any eggs on them? Well, even the chickens won't eat them, so they must be bad.

By the way, birds fly freely in and out of the high tunnel too. I sure hope they are working on the grasshopper population in there! It's a lively place :)

 

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