Thursday, June 16, 2011

Garden invaders: Mystery poo

I woke up this week to find these all over the garden bed floor.  Tiny green grenade looking things.  Weird.  So I searched for tiny green grenade insects and found this website:  The First Clue: Tiny Green Grenades.  Ta-da!  I figure out what they were.  Let's play a game like she did on her post;  Can you spot the bug that made them in this picture:

Here is a close up:

It's a tobacco hornworm!  These suckers are massive and sure enough, above the tiny green grenades on the floor of the garden bed (which turns out to be their poo by the way) I found three hornworms chewing their way through our tomato leafs and stems.  None of them had signs of the parasitic wasp eggs on their backs so we removed all of them.  Apparently, the wasps will lay eggs on the hornworm and feed of of it making it a natural predator of the hornworm therefor if you see one with eggs you shouldn't kill it.  But it's a good thing we have chickens who love protein because they gobbled them down.  I'm not brave enough to try this.  Ek!

1 comment:

Carla said...

I thought, oh good, mystery poo, I got this one!

Never thought of it looking like a grenade before- that is a great description!

Just a note, I often have a "sacrificial" tomato plant off to the side somewhere and put a couple of the tomato hornworms on it. Chances are they will get the parasitic wasps and then you are encouraging more of the wasps without damaging the rest of your plants.

Glad you noticed these guys in time- Last year I had a container tomato that got completely defoliated before I noticed these big guys all over it!