Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear God, Are You Trying To Make Me Stop Gardening?

Because if you continue to send these nuggets of torture, I'm going to have to stop.  I cannot deal with these things.

I started noticing one of my tomato plants that had been doing really well was acting weird.  The newest growth was sort of wilting.  I immediately assumed a tomato hornworm was at work, but none of the leaves look eaten and the tomatoes looked great.  I looked all over and didn't see any kind of bug.

Then I saw these perfectly shaped turds all over the place, on this one plant.  Again, I thought I remembered these from the last time I had a tomato hornworm in my garden.  Again, I looked everywhere and couldn't see anything.  Nothing else seemed to be touched, just this one plant.  Anything that makes such perfect turds cannot be anything good.

My tomatoes in this garden are much closer than I like.  It's hard to get between them and when things are as lush as they are right now, I always worry that I will be leaning on a bug or something hideous as I am reaching for another plant.

And this morning, I went back to look at the plants and this is what I found.  Please brace yourself.

Oh yeah, that's a tomato hornworn in all its glory.  It is the FATTEST one and definitely the LONGEST one I have ever seen.  4 inches long.  It's like a picture perfect specimen.  See the red horn?

These things evoke almost the same gut wrenching, heinous feeling in my body that big spiders do.  It's not that I think they will bite me.  It's because they blend so perfectly with the plant.  And even more hideous, and thank GOD it didn't do this, when they eat the actual tomatoes, they live a big smile from what they ate on the tomato!

My uncle b-ster was sitting on my parents' deck when I discovered this beauty and he came right out and just snapped off the branch and killed it for me after I took the pictures.

Because worse than seeing these damned things, or their hideous smiles on the tomatoes, is killing them.  They are as fat as my finger, if not fatter, so you know if I step on it or squish it with a brick it's going to make a big noise and be just awful.

So he squished it for me.

If I had been alone, I would have gone to some great length to get a bucket of soapy water or vinegar and I would have dropped it in there to be miserable until it died.  I just can't squish these things.

I am pretty sure if there is one that large, there have to be more on their way.  Nothing else seems to have been touched yet, but now I have to be super vigilant every day and hope and pray that I don't accidentally touch one.

So really, if you want me to stop gardening all together, just keep sending these awful things my way.  You'll win.

**UPDATE:  After looking online, it appears that this is a TOBACCO hornworm because it has 7 stripes.  Tomato hornworms have 8 stripes. 

Must be all that tobacoo I have growing on the back 40.


  1. wow

    that really is a gross bug!

    I hope your tomatoes survive!

    that is all

  2. I AM GOING TO THROW UP! I never knew there was a worm out there called a HORNworm or a tobacco HORNworm. Yuck, yuck, yuck. (And sorry!)

  3. I think I found some poo in my garden this morning. I didn't know what it might have been from... geesh!


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