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Love the pics of the tobacco hornworm. When I was a child we picked them off the tobacco by hand. Dad killed them. I raked mine into a tin can and he did the dirty deed. Wish I had a can full now for my three chickens.

You might already know this - but if you ever find a hornworm with white eggs layed along its back you should leave it be and not kill it. The eggs are from a wasp that feeds off hornworms. So if you leave the worm alone let the eggs hatch (they will feed off the host hornworm when they hatch - gross, but that's nature) - you will have some natural hornworm pest control in the future.

My guess is that all the stuff these guys eat make them a prime candidate for a deep fat frier! Sorta like a green french fry! Yum Yum! catch some more you never know what will be the next great snack food...... or not. Love, Dad PS Georgetown Lake was lovely, Moose watching was as good as the fishing.

My gardening elders tell me that Blight is caused by planting tomatoes (or other plants that may be proneto it) in the same spot each year. Apparently they have to be rotated to new soil every other year so that they get the nutrients they need & don't blight. Just thought I'd pass their wisdom along. We had blight really bad one year & haven't had it since we started rotating our garden. :) Thanks for all your photos & craft recipes!! -M.Wallace in Illinois

Anna, when we were young and growing up in Northern California, my mom grew this big garden, and what do you think attacked her tomato plants? Hornworms! But we called them "Tomato Worms." My brother and I LOVED to go out to the garden and, using a pair of pliers, find hornworms and pick them off the plant by their horns and drop them into the burning barrel! What fun! If I saw them for the first time as an adult, I would be grossed out, but since I loved discovering and "plucking" them as a child, it brings back great memories. Keep your eyes peeled for more . . . we had lots. Not to freak you out either, but I think they drop from tree branches too.

It amazes me that you can make caterpillar and other pests look beautiful!

That's a big one! I bet the chickens enjoyed their snack. ;)

I have had the tomatoe hornworms before and they are THE creapiest things ever - Super Yuk!!

What a magnificent "bug"! I don't know if we have hornbugs in Minnesota or if they'd be that big if we did. What did you do with it? I'm not into killing bugs because I can't stand to squish or crunch anything!

Thanks for the info on the Hornworms. Your photos are great...the ones I've found on my tomatoes aren't treated so well (before their demise) Here one only hears my blood-curdling screams then they get smashed by rocks in the driveway...I just can't help myself nor can i be CALM during this activity, much to the delight of anyone who sees this crazy woman trying to smash one without getting splashed!!! argh!!! Your garden looks great...hope the organic stuff works! esther

I am very familiar with hornworms. We used to pick them off the tomato plants and put them in the street and have 'races' to see who's worm got squished first.

I'll never forget the episode of 'Fear Factor' where the contests had to eat LIVE hornworms. GROSSSSSS!!!!

I want to compliment you on your blog. I do miss the rubber stamping (don't see much lately), but your photography is great and I love your farm. Thanks so much for sharing.

Thanks for your usual clear, gorgeous photos! That worm looks like some of the cards we make with all that embellishment. His tail looks like it was designed to fake out predators who think it's his head. Why do such destructive bugs look so bright and beautiful??

Wow what amazing pictures.. My biggest problem is slugs.. They ate my sons prize winning cabbage in one night.. Well it is prize winning to him anyway. Love all your info here.. I will visit each day to see how your garden progresses.. This is my first gardening year..

Your photos are amazing! I have never seen a horn worm before! Although a pest very interesting and even beautiful!

Wow Anna, I always seem to learn something. I am a Tobacco hacker from way back, and we used to find these things in the fields all the time. I knew that there were hornworms for tomatoes, but I never knew the difference of the color of the horn. Now I know. Also, as the hornworm matures, it will turn a chocolate brown right before it forms it pupal case. I'll just call you Anna the crafter/farmer/photographer/entomologist...!

Holy cow - if I had found that nasty looking thing I would have run into the house and stayed there LOL. Was there only the one?

Of course, there is this small king snake I keep running across in the yard. I swear he's out to get me but hubby insists the snake is probably saying the same thing about me. ;)

I had some corn worms that looked similar but much, much smaller. As much as you don't want that bugger in your garden, he did make for some great pictures...

What a weird looking thing ... interesting learning from you!

I should have realized by the title of this entry, that I should not have looked! You have THE worst and ugliest of bugs and such, in your neck of the woods. 3" to 4" in length ... I would so be OUT of that garden!!! I'm going to watch your entry titles a little more closely before taking a peek! Give me photos and stories of your farm critters anyday.

Watch out for more hornworms because they come in batches. The butterfly doesn't just lay one egg on the plants. Sometimes I'm lucky and the cardinals pick off the worms and other times I have to be the murderer! I sometimes find them by listening carefully when it's quiet around dusk because they make noise when they chew--plus the poop is a dead give away. I usually squish them with a rock after I pick them off, but watch out--they squirt greet goo all over the place! I battle hornworms and the black and yellow caterpillars that like to eat my dill and parsley. Doggone critters!

My dad battles tomato blight. I don't think he's ever found anything that is very effective. Hopefully, your organic compound will work. I fight red spider mites on my tomatoes. I spray with an alcohol and soap mixture and it helps but they are never totally eradicated.

I'm just amazed that your plants are still as green as they are with the hot temps we have been having. My garden is really looking sad at the moment.

Oh my word! How you manage to spot all of these most unusual creatures, I will never know. While you do, though, I will continue to enjoy you trials with nature and beautiful photography. You have a knack for making the freakiest of creatures "cute!"

We had one of these last year and it creeped me out so much that I don't go looking for them... my honey does. LOL

But that was REALLY interesting about Tabacco Hornworms and Tomato Hornworms. I didn't know Tabacco ones liked tomatoes too!!

Thanks for the info and great pictures!!

Just so you don't think those are Texas sized worms we have the same things in little ole Rhode Island and they get just as big! If the backs are covered with little white bumps those are wasp eggs and they will suck the life out of the tomato worm and just leave a shell.

Woah - that is one big worm! I mistook the body for part of your plant and thought the bug was the little black and white bits by its head. I guess you didn't need to really zoom in on that sucker. Creepy but totally AWESOME photos...as always.

Ugh! Kinda reminds me of the caterpillar thing from the latest Alice in Wonderland movie. But at least that one turned into a butterfly!

Interesting little (little??) critters, aren't they? Nevertheless, you have a beautiful garden and are enjoying the fruits (or vegetables)of your labor. Great job. Everything looks impeccable!! It's finally hot in North Idaho, just since the day after the Fourth! Cloudy and cool on the 4th. Go figure! It's Idaho! xoxo

Yuck! Great pics of a gross creature. He does have amazing markings.

You'll have to keep watching the toms every day for more hornworms. Where there's one, there are many. I found tiny baby ones under the leaves that I could very easily have missed. I even have them in my ash trees. - our local gardening expert said he never heard of that before. The patio is filled with HWpoop all under the trees. I guess it's better than feasting on my tomatoes!

I used to work in a farm stand while I was a teenager, many moons ago,, I had to deal with these awful critters in the filed! YUCK!!
They still give me the willies just looking at the photos!

Love the animals on your farm! The creepy crawlies, not so much. I would freak out if I found something like that this size! Yikes! Hope he's the last one!

Oh My Gosh I've never seen a Hornworm before but it sure was interesting. Can't say I'd want one in my garden and I hope you don't find more in yours. You do have the most interesting "creepy crawlies" there on your farm.

I agree, he's kinda pretty but I wouldn't want him anywhere near me. Too creepy looking. UGH!!! I just got chill bumps!

I had to laugh, as I too remember the FIRST time I ever saw one of those tobacco worms! I was fascinated by its size and details...an amazing creature! But I wasn't fond of it, and I think I ended its life in some manner. EEKK! Thanks for the GREAT pictures, it was fun to see one again. I hope you don't find more...and good luck with the blight. It's so frustrating when things interfere with our gardens!
Have a FANTASTIC weekend!

If you don't think about what he is, he is really a beautiful looking creature, like are those little fingers up by his head or his mouth? Are those really eyes all down his side? Amazing. I do remember growing up and walking i the garden with my Granny, and I think she had a pot of boiling water or something, and she plucked em off the plant and in they went, and they were killed.
Sounds mean but I thinks it safer then pesticides...well not for the bug...
Bugs, I mean Hugs,
Di

UGH - I just hate hornworms. They infested our tomato plants last year but they gave the jalapeño pepper plants a wide berth. Be glad yours didn't have little white eggs attached to its back. Beware though, where there's one hornworm, there's more. We had our tomato plants in pots on the deck and it was easy to see all the hornworm droppings. The 4 inch hornworm's droppings are often mistakened for rabbit pellets. Disgusting. I'll show you mine, if you show me yours. Oh wait, you just did! Photos to follow via email!

blight! UGH!!! We had it last year in our tomatoes (mich) hopefully we won't this year....hubby says great pics of the tomato worms!!! he's a picture takin' guy...

Grrr, Fungal problems and garden pests. I can feel the pain. We went out to garden and picked green bens. We have lost 1/2 of out tomatoes and the remaining ones are not producing well. We have had TOO much rain. Plus the yellow zucchini was just setting fruit and is now wilting off.:( Thankfully we have things in raised beds that seem to have weathered the weather better. It was so nice of you to *relocate* Mr.Hornworm. I know my hubby would have squashed it.
TGIF and hugs....

I've seen these horned slugs before but that was many years ago. I have not ever seen one in my garden. They must be an eating machine to gobble up so much in a short time.

We have battled bottom rot here in Nebraska last year and probably this year too because of unseasonably high levels of rainfall. It a good thing my beds are raised and I try to keep the plants thinned out enough to provide air circulation. No ripe tomatoes yet but close.

So sorry about the "pest." I know your pain. You know, this would be an interesting and informative article for GRIT. A lot of gardens/farmers would be quite interested in the details.

Great!you're garden is really spacious...nice, clean and green is beautiful!soo sorry to here about your little problem but it looks cute...you've got a nice shots!

something to keep in mind for next year - you can't reuse the same soil for any nightshade crops (maters, taters, etc) because of a fungus? or something in the soil - you don't get hard enough winters to kill it... i don't either. but that is one of the benefits of container gardening. what was tomatoes last year is herbs that will live in those buckets permanently. next year veggies will go in this year's mater buckets and new maters will get all new buckets and soil.

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