Now, a tomato hornworm is no good to one's garden... especially if you like your tomato plants. A popular choice to take care of this problem is a wide range broad spectrum insecticide! Right? Not if you are concerned about what that pesticide will do to you, or your soil. So... You want organic then, so you go with BT (Bacillus thuringiensis). Right? Except there are issues where its not as complete as one would think. Some people say it barely takes care of 1/2 their problem areas and they are left to hand pick the rest off anyways. There is also limited research on long term issues to soil, and other insects in the area. Just remember, if something is intended to KILL, kill it will. You can of course leave it to mother nature to take care of some of it. Really?
I mean, really... infestations being controlled naturally? Not having to spray or do anything? Leave it to the predators?! Well, I am trying to anyways. I do have to hand pick a lot of stuff off my plants, but so is life. I missed some things...even vine borers ended up killing 2 (maybe 3) of my pumpkin vines this week. I have 4 pumpkin vines that do seem fine, just no pumpkins on them yet. Then what good is not spraying, or dusting?
Today I was lucky enough to see mother nature's own pest control doing its job. This year I've barely seen a hornworm, 2 before the one I found today. I wasn't concerned, I just thought I caught a break... however, to see whats been happening is awesome...
A Braconid wasp, a parasite wasp, has been so kind as to lay eggs directly under the skin of the hornworm. The hatching wasp larva then eat their way out, weaking and eventually killing the hornworm.
Reproduce on my little wasp friend! You are welcome in this girl's garden anytime!!!