Thursday, July 5, 2012

Huckleberry Blues-I Hate Horn Worms

Tomato Hornworm and Tobacco Hornworm

Well sometimes raising plants is like a war in Nevada.  I have two Huckleberry vines that survived quail, wind, and heat. I even have about 50 berries on the vine.  So I brought them inside (they are in a large pot) to keep the birds from eating the berries, before they even got ripe. 


I put them in our back room in the sun and thought, I have fixed those birds. The berries can ripen indoors in the sun.  Well yesterday, we went off for some 4TH of July fun.  We were busy getting ready, so did not look in on those plants. We got home at 11PM and went to bed. 


I got up this morning to check on them, and there were 20 huge green Horn Worms on the plant. They had  eaten half the plant leaves over that period of time. I had brought them in the house, not knowing they were already there on the plants already.  I picked them off the plant, and disposed of them in a very unfriendly way.  The plant will survive but is certainly not happy with half of its leaves eaten away. I had no idea that I would find them on the Huckleberry vines and not on the tomato bushes outdoors.   So the lesson learned  is that horn worms eat more than tomato vines.  If you notice your leaves missing, think Hornworms, as well as other creatures. I must apologize to the Quail tomorrow.  


You would think out in the middle of Nevada with no one next door growing much of anything, that those pesky moths would not  find their way to my plants...but nope...they found them. 


You may now ask where do those huge green worms come from?  This is their Latin names:


Tomato Hornworm and Tobacco Hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata L. and Manduca sexta L., respectively).


These worms are laid as eggs by either the Five-Spotted Hawk Moth  (Tomato Hornworm)  or the Sphinx Moth( Tobacco Hornworm). 








These moths lay their eggs on the undersides of the leaves.   The Five-Spotted Hawk Moth is 4 to 5 inches long, and is capable of flying 30 miles per hour and hovering over flowers like a hummingbird.  


The Tobacco Hornworm has 7 diagonal white stripes and a red horn and is found more in the Southern United States.


The Tomato Worm has V shaped marks on each side and its horm in straighter and either blue or black and prefers the Northern US.   

Some Natural solutions are:

A spray made of red cayenne pepper.


A spray made of water, vegetable oil, and liquid ivory soap sprayed on your plants.

Readers let me know what you have found that kills these Hornworms other than chemicals. Also let the readers know what plant you found them on. It is apparent that they eat more than tomato vines. 

Bye for today,
Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin








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