Hornworms eat your tomatoes. However in flip, the useful braconid wasp lays its eggs in most of the caterpillars. These tiny wasps develop inside the caterpillar pores and skin and ultimately will kill their host. They emerge from the caterpillar trying reasonably like rice hulls on the again of the caterpillar.
This identical course of occurs in different butterflies and moth larva and helps with pest administration. Anise Swallowtail caterpillars, which feed on vegetation within the parsley and fennel household, even have parasitic wasps lay eggs of their eggs.
When the caterpillar completes its life cycle and transforms right into a cocoon, it’ll drill into the soil to spend the subsequent a number of months. I watched one do that and it was gone so shortly I used to be amazed. The next summer time, when the climate warms, they are going to hatch and start to fly round in search of locations to put their eggs. Tomato vegetation are a favourite host, however they like several plant within the nightshade household, together with peppers, eggplants and potatoes
I’ve learn that marigolds, basil, borage and mint will repel tomato hornworms if planted alongside the tomatoes. Their sturdy odors appear to repel the moth.
The hornworm begins life as a small egg laid on the underside of the leaf. The larva hatches and grows shortly, and because it grows it eats increasingly of the host plant. After three to 4 weeks, it is able to take that dive into the soil.