Some days you know just aren’t gonna go your way…if you’re a tomato hornworm, and you wake up one morning all bedazzled with little white decorations, chances are, the day will not end well. These little adornments will hatch and eat you.
As a gardener and tomato-lover, I love seeing these little beauties. Nature can be cruel…but that hornworm was gonna wreak havoc on my tender tomatoes.
The little rice-like attachments will hatch into a tiny parasitic wasp that feeds on the ol’ THW. They lay they’re eggs under the skin of the hornworm which hatch into larvae that love the taste of hornworm. After a hearty meal, they emerge to spin cocoons (the tiny rice-like things) and pupate into, BAM, even more braconid wasps .
If you see one like this in your garden, gently move it into a mason jar with a few tomato leaves, cover with a bit of screen and, voilà, you have an effective biological control against one of the varmints of the garden. The tiny wasps (they don’t hurt people at all) will escape through the screen and go to parasitize even more pesky THWs. Huzzah!