Today, I was out in the garden weeding, inspecting, and such. I noticed that something was eating our tomatoes. Two of them had been eaten over halfway through!
I reached in and turned and twisted the branch that the tomatoes were on to see if I could find the culprit who was eating them. Then, to my horror, I realized that I wasn't holding on to the branch. Look closely at that picture above. I was holding the culprit!!!May I introduce you to our garden visitor? This, tomato loving creature, is a Tomato Hornworm. Yikes, he's huge!!! If we stretched him out he would be just over 4 inches long!!!
I looked online and called our Extension office to talk to a Master Gardener. I learned that these green guys will eat all of my tomatoes if I don't destroy them. Destroy them?!?!? How the heck do you destroy a 4 inch long green guy? The master gardener say that I should just step on him. Step on him! I can't do that. Gardening is supposed to be this nice wholesome activity to do with my kiddos not a vicious activity involving the destruction of huge caterpillars. I can't even begin to tell you how my imagination has played up this destruction of caterpillars. I can envision 4 inches of Tomato hornworm innards exploding under my foot. I just can't do it.
My hubby says he could try to take the green guys fishing.
My daughter says we can just keep him. She knows that caterpillars turn into butterflies and she is fascinated by the thought of how big a butterfly he would be.
I say thankfully we only have one. I am hoping and praying that there won't be more. I really don't want to spend my days plucking big green guys off of my tomatoes. Heck, I don't even like tomatoes. I've been wondering what we are going to do with all of our tomatoes since we don't like them fresh from the garden. I was hoping that we could bless others with our bounty. I was hoping that I could convince my kiddos that they were yummy. I was hoping that I could learn to can and have canned tomatoes for chili and stew this winter. I was hoping that I could learn to make tomato sauce. I was hoping. I was hoping. Now I am just hoping that it will all disappear...the hornworms, the tomatoes, all of it. We only have one but the Master Gardener assured me that if I have one, I most assuredly have more. MORE! I have to pluck them out daily by hand. BY HAND! I have to destroy them by squishing them. SQUISHING THEM! I really don't want to deal with this. Yuck!
One last picture to leave you with...
Caterpillar Crap!!! Did you ever wonder what recycled tomatoes look like? Well, there you go! After just a few hours, this big guy deposited quite a load of poo! Yuck, I can't believe I have to deal with this!!!