Stupid Hornworm Question~

scorpgirl24(z7NJ)July 23, 2012

I can deal with most anything in the garden...except hornworms!

My neighbor has been nice enough to do the picking, except that she has a much bigger heart than I do. She refuses to kill them and insists on tossing them in a another neighbor's yard.

My question...will/can they find their way back to my plants?? She seems to think, that once they finish off the tomato branch that has been clipped, they will starve. I'm not so sure. I know moths have a way of sensing/smelling a host plant, but do the caterpillars have a way to navigate back to my maters??

Love to have an answer to this! Thanks for all info/help~

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jlwoods

I don't know that they have specific ways to navigate to the host plant but they definitely won't stop once they finish off a branch !! And they also don't just eat tomatoes! I hate touching them too but I make a bucket up of 1/4 cup Ivory dish soap per gallon of water - when I find a worm I pick it off and put it in the mixture - it kills them pretty immediately and then spray the rest of the plants with this mixture - It has worked pretty well for me this year ! But definitely don't keep them alive unless they have the white eggs all over their back because those eggs are the parasitic wasps that will kill the hornworms ! Hope this helps !!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:32PM
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ernie85017

I use my kitchen tongs. The ones with a triangle/loop at the end. Works great unless they hold on really hard and get torn in two.
Yeek.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:37PM
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