Hornworm Hunting Tools.

garf_gwMarch 27, 2012

As most of us know, Hornworm hunting is best done at night. As with everything else, proper tools are needed. The first item is whatever eyewear that allows you to see well up close. The second item is a STRONG flashlight. I have a large number of flashlights, so it was just a matter of selecting the best one for the job. It turns out the best one for the job is an oddball I picked up from our favorite auction site. It has 128 low power LED's and lights up my entire living room at night.


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ncrealestateguy

How does the government allow these things to be sold, when they have prevented me from buying 100 watt light bulbs for my house anymore? Sheesh!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:56PM
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garf_gw

They have an arrangement with China.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:52PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

ncrealestateguy, the last time I looked, 100w incandescent bulbs were still available in two Big Box stores here.

100w incandescent bulbs can't be produced here, but apparently can still be sold? And obviously there's still plenty of demand.

I remember reading that somewhere in Europe their sale had been outlawed, but they were still being sold as heat bulbs rather than light bulbs....

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 1:37PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I guess I'm weird as I find hornworm hunting to be MUCH easier in the daylight than after dark. Now slugs, that is a nighttime hunt for sure.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:09PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Yeah, me too, Dave. And now that you've mentioned it, I'll confess my ignorance: why is it easier in the night, garf? Do they glow in the dark? Or are you simply being smart enough to avoid the midday heat?

Though really, there are things out there in the middle of the night that I wouldn't want to encounter:

= raccoons (many here are rabid),

=whatever-it-is that makes the scary night-time noise none of the old-timers can identify,

= coyotes,

= whatever-it-is the old-timers know is out there but refuse to tell me about.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:40PM
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garf_gw

The worms hide during the heat of the day. At night, they are usually found on the top of the plant or at least exposed in plain sight. A strong flashlight makes it easy.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:12PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hmmm must be a zone 10 thing that my hornworms haven't caught onto yet. Here it is the early bird that gets the worm. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:39PM
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suncitylinda

Me too Dave. I get them early, hanging near the top.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:51PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I was nicknamed "Eagle-eye" as a child; maybe that's why I catch them in the daytime.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:44AM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Must be because he has that fancy hornworm flashlight that the rest of you dont, and I bet he knows where you can buy one .That flashlight is so special it can even find 'em in daylight

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 1:08AM
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larryw(z6Ohio)

I've got one of those fancy led flashlights which has UV type LED's. It was bought for looking for septic runoff around our summer lake.

Kinda pricey, as I recall about $65. But I have the thing and it just might work! If it lights them up I'll pick them off in the evening and feed them to the bass!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 6:10AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

That would be good for spotting copperheads which I would have to watch for out at night. If you spray the tomato plant with the hose, the horn worms move and you can see them in daytime. The trouble is by the time they are big and fat and easy to track by their poo, they have already eaten your tomato.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:56AM
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qaguy

My favorite hunting tool is my Blazer PB-207 butane lighter. It's one of those high-power, 1600 degree blowtorch types.

Makes hornworms nice and crispy.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:10PM
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garf_gw

I thought I was sadistic using scissors.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:40PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I thought I was sadistic throwing them on the asphalt driveway where if the birds didn't find them, the sun would fry them.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:19PM
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moldy_oldy(North Texas)

I know this a very late follow-up but I had to put in my two cents hoping someone would find this post this year.. Hunting these critters is in deed best done at night and the very best way to find them is with an ultraviolet (black light) flashlight. They light up like a San Francisco rock concert poster from the 60s. They glow bright green and are easy to pick off. I got my flashlight off Amazon for 8 bucks.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 8:09AM
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arley_gw

FWIW: I saw on a Youtube video someone recommending that you put a tuna can on a stake near your garden; fill it with peanuts. The peanuts attract birds. Why do you want to attract birds to the garden? They have good eyes and notice movement, and when they see a hornworm they make a meal of him.

Anyone ever heard of this, or tried it? Sounds a little strange to me, but the other advice he gives in the video seems legit.

Here is a link that might be useful: tomato video

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 10:48AM
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n1111z(6B)

One year I hunted with a blowtorch. Very satisfying.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 11:08AM
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emopanda

Hey all,

Posting this on behalf of Mom :)

For my fellow gardeners: Hubby and I just did our own Myth Busting. He gave me a 22" blacklight for my birthday (romantic que no?) because I read that tomato hornworms glow... didn't really believe it but
I had to give it a try. We are here to tell you IT WORKS!!!! Very very cool!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 11:47PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Has anyone seen the flies that lay eggs on the hornworm. I felt so sorry for the worm that I squashed it but I have been encouraging those flies every since. There are u-tube videos that show exactly what I saw. The fly looks like an ordinary big fly or did until I figured out which ones attack the hornworms.

Here is a link that might be useful: trachnid fly

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:33PM
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