The Amazing Tomato Hornworm

My old nemesis the Tomato Hornworm is back! They certainly are an impressive creature!

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When the Five Spotted Hawk (Manduca quinquemaculata) moth finds a tomato plant, it will lay one or several eggs on the tomato plant. When the eggs hatch, the little caterpillar will eat its egg case and starts to eat like crazy! The caterpillar will molt several times until it becomes mature and ready to burrow in the ground and metamorphize into a chrysalis. By late spring the chrysalis will open and a new moth appears in late spring/early summer. Finally the cycle starts all over again.

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It is incredible how fast an almost mature caterpillar can strip a tomato plant. I recommend removing the worms by hand. Usually the creatures are found alone hiding amongst the damage. Beware, there color is a great camouflage! Check out the size of this critter!!

BTW, here is another indicator of their escapades. Giant worm poop!!!

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You have to admit, they are amazing!!!!!!

Papa

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We Got Skunked! A Rather Smelly Experience!!

Ah, the joys of living in the country! Tuesday (May 26), we had a smelly experience. We had to deal with a skunk. It sprayed (phew!) an area on the south side of our house. No one got directly sprayed, but the fumes permeated parts of the inside of our house.

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There is a lot of clean up involved. Clothing, bedding and towels have to be washed. Walls have to be deodorized. Plus, trips to the store for added supplies. It is quite an undertaking.

Papa