Monday, July 26, 2010

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This year, we found some tomato hornworms on the plants. Tomato hornworms are the larvae of hummingbird moths. The small yellowish-green eggs are laid underneath the leaves. The worms have a red-orange horn at the end of their bodies. They can be 2-4 inches long. The worms can devour most of a plant in 1-2 days. The worms are hard to find as they are almost the same color as the stem of tomato plants. Can you see it in the picture below?
The worms were extremly hard to pick off. We had to use pliers to yank them off the vines. We even considered cutting off the branch that they were on! The braconoid wasp will parasite some hornworms. The paracited worms look like they have rice grains on their bodies.

I hope that you will not have any problems with these hungry worms in your garden!


  1. They're the larvae of hummingbird moths, huh? I never knew that. That's a shame, because I like those moths. I just hope they keep their little larvae away from my plants!

  2. I found one on my pepper plants tonight--eeek! It had stripped one of them clean. I hope your plants recover!

    P.s Nice banner of the gardening ebooks-->

  3. I had a friend over yesterday, and she was saying her little girl (3) was out in the garden the other day with a baseball bat, looking very angry. Her mum said, 'What are you doing?'. 'I'm gonna kill all these butterflies'! Of course, she kept hearing about the horrible caterpillars. Our wee guy goes 'bang, bang!' every time he sees a rabbit and I've seen horrified looks from other people, who think we shouldn't raise such violent kids - after all, these bunnies are soooo cute!..... UNLESS they're eating your veg..... Grrrrrr!
    So all in all, us veg growers become rather violent - whether it's to gorgeous butterflies, or to cute bunnies!
    Happy growing!
    Love, Anne x