Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do you know what this is?

We found this huge green worm on the tomatoes. The worm's back was covered with some sort of white eggs.

I've heard that a parasite wasp will attack tomato horn worms, but I had never seen it in action. If you see white sacks on the back of a tomato horn worm, don't kill it. The life of the worm is doomed anyway and you want to encourage parasite wasps in your garden.

I've never known much about the insects found in the garden. Usually, if I can't identify a bug or worm, I let it live, unless it is obvious it is damaging a plant. I don't want to risk killing one of the "good guys". This year I found a book (at a used book sale, of course) about garden insects. What I like best about this book is that it shows photos of each stage of development, from egg to adult. Insects can look so different at the various stages of life. Even with photos, I've had trouble positively identifying some of the grubs we've dug up.
One of the (small) things I think we've done right, is give our children a love for bugs. There is definitely times I have to choke back a shudder and fake delight, when I find a creepy crawler. It doesn't take long for children to pick up on my attitude. I'm glad that they still are excited to unearth a wiggler. They are far better then I at squishing potato bugs.

What is crawling in your garden?

5 comments :

  1. Oh dear, Gina, I'm afraid you're a better mama than I am! That thing looks *very* disturbing to me!! I would have a hard time mustering up any enthusiasm for it all. My first thought (after "yikes!") was that it did look caterpillar-ish, definitely moth-like. Must go lay down now.

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  2. Ha, yes, I DO know what that is, and as my husband says, "It's good that something was thinking about eating it." :)

    Thankfully at the beans/tomato/corn stage we are in, there are few pest problems. But last month it was the carrot fly and a range of horrors in the cabbage row. No problems with potato bugs this year. Is there anything worse than the dreaded pb?

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  3. I just researched this! I actually don't have that problem yet, but I do have tomato worms. What I read was that a wasp has laid its eggs and once they hatch the larvae will eat the worm. Sounds lovely! Not sure what I'd do with it, I'd just as soon see them all be gone! We had problems this year because of planting broccoli near tomatoes and the "cabbage worm" and tomato worm are both in full force. I have had my kids out on worm duty with me! We are using our butterfly hatching container to put the cocoons into that we find. Have fun!

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  4. Ewwww...can't look...feeling faint at the site....especially since I read the description you put...ewwww. LOL!

    Seriously though, I have no idea.

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  5. Interesting about the bugs! I do have a fascination for many bugs (not spiders though) but last night I had nothing but horror when I was awaken by something crawling on me inside my night clothes. I woke up hubby and the dog with my screams! LOL! Some kind of beetle and I felt like things were crawling on me all night! Funny today but not last night!

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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