On my 40 plants this year I've found 3 large ones....and that's it. My neighbors have had a few as well. This is pretty low density for us. I was just hoping it meant that my biology at all trophic levels was WAY up, as it seems to be this year, but perhaps there is more going on?
For the last 3 years, my tomatoes have been devastated by the hornworms. I have been waiting all summer for the buggers to make an appearance, and they never did. Have not seen a single one, and have not seen any damage to the tomatoes.
Wonder if they are cyclical, sorta like cicadas? The weather was certainly unusual here this spring and summer - very late frost mid-May, very dry June and July, and very wet August (12” worth of wet, in what is normally a very dry month.).
Maybe the boom over the last few years spawned a predator boom that made a quick meal of most of them.
“All good things are wild, and free.” Henry David Thoreau
Lady Bugs seem to be a natural predator, and we have had a number of those. I also did a good deal of work on my raised beds that might have disturbed the egg habitat. But in the end, I suspect there are other factors.
Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions. Mark Twain
Same situation in NW Missouri. Had all of one or two horn worms this year, back in late July I think. Haven't seen them since *knock on wood.*
Bag worms were bad this year, but they're pretty easy to spot and even easier to dispose of since their little bag contains the mess of squishing them :)
No, I have definitely not had the "misfortune" of not having horned worms this year. They are worse than ever. I saw one that was incubating some nice wasp larvae, I meant to get a picture to share here but didn't have my phone and forgot to go back later.
And he said, "I want to live as an honest man, to get all I deserve, and to give all I can, and to love a young woman whom I don't understand. Your Highness, your ways are very strange."
there are dozens of species of hornworms in the u.s., and they’re all pretty dependent on one type of food - there are different species for tobacco and tomato, for instance, even though both plants are in the same family. the hornworms that eat honeysuckle are in a different but closely related genus...the adults are clearwing moths, mostly day-flying bee-mimics (but with a fancier paint-job if you look close).
We had a lot of hornworms early in the season this year. The parasitic wasps eventually showed up but I picked many before I saw any sign of them. After I saw one hornworm with the little wasp cocoons I saw no further hornworms of significant size.