Well, I have some distressing news today: they have come. The dreaded tomato horned worm has invaded my tomato garden. In all of the years that I’ve been growing tomatoes, this is a (terrible) first. I guess it’s true: if you plant it, they will come.
It’s especially depressing because (for once!) this has such a promising year for tomatoes so far! They are plentiful, robust plants this year, which almost never happens.
So, the time has come for me to admit the truth: I am a wimpy gardener. I hate picking the pests off of the plants leaves and fruits; it makes my skin crawl. Of course, that is the first line of defense against so many pests: remove and squish them.
But I can’t really complain. I am fortunate. I am married to man who loves me more than he hates tomato pests. He is the one who hand-picked all of those repulsive, large, green wormy caterpillary horned creatures from my tomato plants and then fed them to the chickens (circle of life, baby; circle of life).
Why not just turn the chickens loose on the tomato beds? Because chickens love eating tomatoes as much as the tomato hornworms love eating tomatoes, so there is a basic conflict of interest there.
If you want to see what these disgusting creatures look like, click here, then scroll down for the pictures on the left side of the text.
Of course, there are various and sundry poisons to use for most pests, but doesn’t it give you pause when you think about eating the food that has potentially internalized the poison that you are hoping kills some living thing?
So, what do you do? Pick, squish, then hope for the best? or do you follow that with a good dousing with the poison of your choice?