Zina's Produce

  (Williamsburg, Virginia)
A Country Affair Farm
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Tomato Horn Worms! Yuck!

                                                         

Last year was my first year dealing with Tomato Horn Worms. First I noticed the damage on the foliage and then the worm! A new word for ugly! The daunting task of removing the worms is so slow. They are hard to see, and what to do with them? They are so fat I hated the thought of stomping them. When allowed to mature the worms fall to the ground to bury themselves and turn in to Emerald Moths. If they live that long. Predatory Braconid Wasp attaches eggs to the worms, which looks like rice. What to do? The wasp helps with pollination and the worm destroys. Remember the leaves are normal fare for these guys. Solution.... Use a black light to find them they glow and really stand out. Making plucking fast and easy. Place them in a jar with the lid off. The worm will die, wasps will hatch! I learned this from a home-school group that comes to our farm. Turns out that they had just studied these guys. I have heard if you plant Dill you will have Tomato Horn Worms?  Just so happens I planted Dill last year. Anybody know if this is true or just a coincidence?

 

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Comments:

I planted dill and had horn worms this year!
We plucked with kitchen tongs and let them experience a swim in the bay where they were eaten by hungry fish who needed food..or so I told my grandson!

Posted by yvonne on April 13, 2010 at 11:23 PM EDT #

My chickens consider them a delicacy! I pluck them off and "chick, chick, chick" the hens and roosters run and who ever gets there first grabs the worm and takes off like they found a treasure.

Posted by 75.211.17.106 on April 21, 2010 at 08:35 AM EDT #

Tomatoe Hornworms turn into Hummingbird Sphinx Moths! A beautiful large moth that goes to pollinate all night bloming flowers. At dusk check your ginger lilies in July and August...you'll see the moths. They are huge almost look like a hummingbird in flight. So I kill a few worms for personal satisfaction after I caught them eating my veggies and I leave a few but move them to better location to turn into moths.

Posted by Pat Knight on May 06, 2010 at 08:33 AM EDT #

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