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 Battling the dreaded Horn worm

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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:43 pm

I am losing.......

Twice a day I go out and hand pick 4 inch long horn worms off of my tomatoes and tobacco. Every time I think I have the population under control, I find another decimated plant in the morning. I have netted the remaining tobacco plants and a few of the tomatoes. Some of the netted plants have shown signs of attack, I pull off the net and find one or two of these nasty buggers. Between these, excessive rain and humidity, and deer predation, my tobacco harvest this year will be a third of what it was last year. Fortunately, there are so many volunteer tomato plants that I could afford to lose a few.

Maybe this year I'll need to buy up whatever McClelland's was going to pick up for their next Christmas Cheer installment. Or at least a substantial chunk. Fortunately tobacco leaves are still considered just an agricultural product, so is not subject to the same controls as the finished products.

Maybe next year I need to build a larger greenhouse so I can control the environment a little better.

Maybe when I run out of the tobacco I have I should quit smoking................

Bwahahahaaa!!! Right. Bigger greenhouse. Check.
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:54 pm

Yup. Bigger greenhouse. Can't let those buggers ruin what you sowed and tended so carefully Ozzie!

pirat


Cheers,

RR
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:55 am

Hmm, far from ideal that Oz. Bigger greenhouse does sound the best way forward though. Failing that, it's napalm and sit down wind for the full effect of the 'baccy leaf?

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ftrplt

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Age : 70
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:35 pm

I feel your pain Mad Mad Been in a constant fight this year with the birds, rabbits, and horn worms all wanting to feast on my tomatoes and marigolds Mad Mad Who the hell eats marigolds??? Unfortunately, I have no tobacco nor do we have "excessive" rain Razz I should, however, be the recipient of a nice package of CC2016 and Escudo this afternoon Very Happy Very Happy cheers FTRPLT
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:55 pm

ftrplt wrote:
I feel your pain Mad Mad  Been in a constant fight this year with the birds, rabbits, and horn worms all wanting to feast on my tomatoes and marigolds Mad Mad  Who the hell eats marigolds??? Unfortunately, I have no tobacco nor do we have "excessive" rain Razz  I should, however, be the recipient of a nice package of CC2016 and Escudo this afternoon Very Happy Very Happy cheers FTRPLT

Oh yah. Birds and squirrels went crazy on the fruit trees this year. I put tinsel on the trees to keep away the birds, and it has worked for the most part. Of course, the squirrels love to steal the tinsel, so I replace it on occasion. There are already a couple of squirrel nests that have some nice metallic weaving going on. Pretty custom.

An inventory shows I've lost the equivalent of about 40 pounds of tobacco leaf to the worms. It won't hurt this year, but next year looks like I'll have to barter with something other than my Burleys and Ginnies.

Good score on the CC2016. Someone told me they went looking a couple of days after I picked up mine and they can't find any. I told them to get in line on Ebay. I'm guessing there would be some folks who would be willing to part with some. For a fee, of course.... Evil or Very Mad
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kitobi

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Age : 47
Location : uk, plymouth
Registration date : 2015-05-30

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:10 pm

try a natural remedy

lifted this from a gardening blog

There are many natural enemies of the tomato hornworm. Various general predatory insects such as lady beetles and green lacewings often prey upon the egg stage and on young caterpillars. Another important predator is paper wasps, Polistes spp. This common wasp feeds on many types of caterpillars including those found in gardens.

Tomato hornworms are also parasitized by a number of insects. One of the most common is a small braconid wasp, Cotesia congregatus. Larvae that hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons appear as white projections protruding from the hornworms body. If such projections are observed, the hornworms should be left in the garden to allow the adult wasps to emerge. These wasps kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitize.

many of these natural predators are available online and you have a few bags of larvae at various locations, once they spawn they go looking for your worms as a good food


we have a massive biome close to us called " the eden project" of 3 huge biomes growing tropical and sub tropical plants and full sized trees the only pest control they use is the same type of natural predetation
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:39 pm

Kitobi............

Thanks for the recommendations. I will look into those ideas, as I am prone to use more natural methods to keep pests at bay. I must confess though, a certain apprehension about raising wasps. I'm sort of allergic to those types of stings. I did notice some sort of white attachments on some of the horn worms, maybe those are the wasp eggs. I'll watch those with them closer.......

Another loss today discovered was amazing. This morning I was checking the flocks and fowl, and noticed I had eggs to collect. About a dozen or so, the average count for a day. Ran some errands, got rebar for an addition to the Witch's craft cottage addition, and went out to collect the eggs. I reached into a nest and felt something wrong in the nesting box, so grabbed a stick and poked around and found this:



Morgana was so happy to see it she brought it into the house to show one of the grandkids while he was eating lunch. The snake had egg oozing out of it's mouth by this time. It had about a half dozen eggs in it, and was squirming a bit. Part of me was laughing, but only on the inside.........

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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:27 pm

What kind of snake is that Ozzie? Apart from an egg-stealing breed.

Question


Cheers,

RR
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:40 pm

Brewdude wrote:
What kind of snake is that Ozzie? Apart from an egg-stealing breed.

Question


Cheers,

RR

A king snake. They are non venomous, but the bit can hurt. They tend to prey on rodents, other snakes (Copperheads mostly around here), and unfortunately small chickens and eggs. I think the biggest one we came across was eight feet long and pestering the rabbits. I didn't measure this one, but I'm guessing six feet long. We released it somewhere away from the coop, and then I put moth balls around in the walls. I did it last year and had no problems with rodents or snakes. I guess they finally dissolved away.
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:48 pm

6' - 8' for a King snake you say? Ya, that'd be enough to freak me out to the 'nth degree, poisonous or not! Surprised

While they may eat rodents and other snakes such as the Copperhead I certainly wouldn't like to meet up with one in a chicken coop! Got no use for snakes.

Mad


No Cheers,

RR
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bosun1

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Location : fly over country
Registration date : 2012-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:39 am

Maybe my old eyes are failing, but I don't see a "like" button. So here ya go!

LIKE!!
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:28 am

Fair play Oz, that's a fine looking snake! You can see it's had a good feed too by the lump in its belly!

We only have 3 indigenous snakes here in the UK and only one is poisonous, that being the adder which is from the viper family. Their bite can make you feel pretty ropey and in some instances can be fatal for young children and the elderly. The other snakes in the UK are the impressive looking grass snake and the rarer smooth snake. And I believe the land of the Peterson pipe, Ireland, is free of snakes?!
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AJ

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Age : 68
Location : East of the Rocky Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-18

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:32 pm

Ozark Wizard wrote:
I am losing.......

 Twice a day I go out and hand pick 4 inch long horn worms off of my tomatoes and tobacco. Every time I think I have the population under control, I find another decimated plant in the morning. I have netted the remaining tobacco plants and a few of the tomatoes. Some of the netted plants have shown signs of attack, I pull off the net and find one or two of these nasty buggers. Between these, excessive rain and humidity, and deer predation, my tobacco harvest this year will be a third of what it was last year. Fortunately, there are so many volunteer tomato plants that I could afford to lose a few.

 Maybe this year I'll need to buy up whatever McClelland's was going to pick up for their next Christmas Cheer installment. Or at least a substantial chunk. Fortunately tobacco leaves are still considered just an agricultural product, so is not subject to the same controls as the finished products.

 Maybe next year I need to build a larger greenhouse so I can control the environment a little better.

 Maybe when I run out of the tobacco I have I should quit smoking................

               Bwahahahaaa!!! Right. Bigger greenhouse. Check.    

You might try mixing a large bottle of Tobacco Sauce with a gallon of water and spray your plants with the mixture. It used to work pretty well for me. YMMV but it's worth a try. Smile

AJ
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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:47 pm

Not really an advocate of pesticides but Bt appears to be pretty safe to use on tobacco and is bad news to horn worms. Shame that you've lost so much tobacco though.

Nice find on the snake. I know if we found that here I'd be busy building a terrarium for it.

Jim
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:07 pm

huffelpuff wrote:
Not really an advocate of pesticides but Bt appears to be pretty safe to use on tobacco and is bad news to horn worms. Shame that you've lost so much tobacco though.

Nice find on the snake. I know if we found that here I'd be busy building a terrarium for it.

Jim

Next time I come across one I'll ship it to you...lol!
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Briarbabe

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Age : 38
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Battling the dreaded Horn worm   Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:11 pm

This was my first year having to deal with horn worms, after picking off 20 and still seeing dozens more I gave up and let them have the damn tomatoes. I have never seen an infestation like that before. The only thing I can say is I had better see lots of beautiful hawk moths next month! I hope you have better luck than I did!
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