What is this? What are on this?

Nancy Carter
Nancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

This is on my tomato plant! What is it? What are all these white things on it? What should I do about all of this? Is it good or bad?

Comments

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 3,540 admin

    EEWW! Not sure what species this is but it looks like it is carrying its eggs on the outside of its body. I have seen green caterpillar creatures like this before but never with the white things. The ones I had were completely denuding the plant it was on. BTK took care of them all within 24 hours. I highly recommend BTK.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    @Nancy Carter A tomato hornworm for sure. The good news is you will have many allies in getting rid of it and more. Great find!

  • COWLOVINGIRL
    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 862 ✭✭✭✭

    I found one recently too!

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 372 ✭✭✭

    I've had the hornworms destroy my tomato plants in the past, praying for the wasps to come and save them!! But no love that year...

    I'm surprised you only found one...

  • Acequiamadre
    Acequiamadre Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    I love this picture. Thanks for sharing.

  • andrea745
    andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    This is so cool. I love learning this way. Thank you for sharing.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    Yes, thank you!

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow @Nancy Carter ! That's textbook perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    I had no idea it was such a find!! Glad everyone likes it! It is pretty interesting!

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    So @Nancy Carter after finding out what a cool thing you had there, what was your final decision for action? Hopefully it was let the parasitic wasp larva grow to maturity and complete their cycle of life and death.

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    @tomandcara I definitely left it alone! I also looked around and found some parasitic wasp larva on my Brussels sprout too!

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    @Nancy Carter I am glad to hear you left them alone. Years ago I had a garden and I had a "pet" tomato jhorn worm. Yes, it was eating my tomato plant voraciously, but the moth that it develops into is a pretty cool moth (in my opinion) so I was willing to let it eat away. I was gone for a weekend and my friend that watered the garden while I was gone was sooo excited to tell me that he had found this enormous tomato horn worm and had properly dispatched it to caterpillar heaven. This was many years ago and the 2 of us still laugh at mow horrified I was when he told me this and then how bad he felt for killing my "pet". My observation is the death of that one caterpillar has not significantly altered the time space continuum. Thank goodness for that

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    I found another horn worm covered with the larva!!!

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have horn worms I hand pick but no eggs so what can I do to attract them on behalf of my mater plants? ie is there a particular plant/bloom that attracts them so they can then find the hornworms??

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    @Ferg How long until the larva hatch? Not sure if thats the right word.

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz I'm really not sure how to attract them, I have 2 tomato plants with the larva and a Brussels sprout too. Maybe my garden is in distress, this is the first year for my vegetable garden and I'm figuring it out as I go and I have a lot to learn!

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hornworms are the larvae of hummingbird moths.

    I would not recommend attracting hornworms -- they are pretty but can devastate any plants in the nightshade family.

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl I definitely do not want to attract horn worms just the parasitic wasps!

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Nancy Carter @ltwickey @torey

    Here are two articles on parasitic wasps..I found the first one from NC very helpful and it has a link at the end that you can go to to ask questions.. So glad this thread was started...was the motivation to look for this info I needed too...


    ttps://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/pest-control/how-to-attract-wasps-ze0z1411zcwil

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz that article is fascinating! Thank you for sharing it. I had no idea the hornworm doesn't die until the end but it makes total sense!!

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    @Nancy Carter the hornworm dies at my house every time I find one as they love my mater plants all the way to destruction...now that i know they make a pretty moth i think i'll find a way to keep them away from my plants so they can live...I never like killing anything except of course KNATS !!!

    Glad you found the article helpful! THanks to your article I learned too.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 504 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz  The parasitic wasp is attracted by a chemical (I can't remember the name off the top of my head) that is releases by the plant being damaged or in this specific case eaten by the horn worm. If you want to attract them you would need to have horn worms present for them to lay eggs on and then prune your plants (you could then grow these out with rooting hormone if you want to have even more tomato plants). I have not tried this but from the mechanism it should work.

  • Ferg
    Ferg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭

    @Nancy Carter The wasp eggs hatch into the hornworm and eat their way out. Yummy.

  • Ferg
    Ferg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    @silvertipgrizz and @shllnzl the sphinx moth that changes into a hummingbird moth is whitelined sphinx (Hyles lineata), and is not destructive. Nor does it like tomatoes. It is quite pretty.

    On the other hand, the tomato hornworm becomes a hawk (5-spotted), or sphinx moth, and belongs to Manduca quinquemaculata. The tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) is also a pest which becomes the 5-spotted, or sphinx, moth.

"Italy is known for tomatoes. Thailand for chilies. Germany for sauerkraut. But tomatoes originated in Peru. Thailand imported chilies from Central America. Sauerkraut started in China. Everything is a remix—and the world is better for it. Share what you know. Learn from others."

-Marjory Wildcraft