Hummingbird moths

vfem

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Yeah... we have LOTS of hummingbird (sphynx) moths and though they are wonderful to watch, those danged hornworms destroy my tomatoes!!! :rant
 

sparkles2307

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When I was little and we lived in MT it was a singular joy to squish hornworms and watch the guts come out the ends... :sick
 

TJHateWork

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Contrary to popular belief, the larvae of hummingbird moths are not tomato hornworms, though they are the same shade of bright green and they have a soft, horn-like spike on their posterior. Instead, their caterpillar’s host foods of choice include snowberry, honeysuckle, dogbane, hawthorn, cherry, blueberry, laurel and viburnum, depending on the species.

Hummingbird moths are friends of the garden. As they sip nectar, they transfer pollen from flower to flower as it clings to their hairy bodies. If you spot one of these fascinating creatures, simply enjoy the show and let it go about its business in peace.
 

TJHateWork

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Btw I know nothing about these things but took it from a forestry site.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Contrary to popular belief, the larvae of hummingbird moths are not tomato hornworms, though they are the same shade of bright green and they have a soft, horn-like spike on their posterior. Instead, their caterpillar’s host foods of choice include snowberry, honeysuckle, dogbane, hawthorn, cherry, blueberry, laurel and viburnum, depending on the species.

Hummingbird moths are friends of the garden. As they sip nectar, they transfer pollen from flower to flower as it clings to their hairy bodies. If you spot one of these fascinating creatures, simply enjoy the show and let it go about its business in peace.
Depends on the species. Tomato Hornworms turn into ONE KIND of Hawkmoth, the Five-spotted hawk moth . Tobacco Hornworms turn into another.

To my mind both fall into the tradeoff section i.e. which do you want more, your tomatoes or the moths. It the same dillemma one faces with Eastern Black and Anise Swallowtails (a.k.a. parsley worms) and most things in the carrot family, Giant Swallowtails (Orange dogs) and citrus, whites and cabbage, and so on. I LIKE the hairstreaks that flutter around our house, but that doesn't mean I Like how their little sluggy larvae eat the leaves on my beans.
 

Zeedman

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The humming bird moths I've observed were the clear wing moths, genus Hemaris. Those are not the same as the hawk moths that attack tomatoes. One of my favorite childhood memories is catching a few of those moths as they swarmed over my grandparent's lilacs. That was in the 70's, but I haven't seen any here in years. Their larvae feed mostly on shrubs, I wonder if they were wiped out during widespread aerial spraying to control gypsy moth? Haven't seen hornworms for years either, not that I'm complaining.
 
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ducks4you

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I would check with your local extension office. On Mid American Gardener a local gardener wrote in about a pest on roses and didn't want to use Sevin, which the panelists also agreed about, since Sevin is broad spectrum, kills any insects in it's path. One panelist suggested a product specific to roses that you apply at the base. The plant soaks it up and kills the insects that eat the leaves, NOT pollinators that gather from the flowers.
 

ducks4you

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Btw, most of the hornworms I have seen in the last few years were covered with the white eggs of the parasitic wasp, and their young eat them from the inside out. The one I found last year was close to fast food cup that had water in it. I dropped it in there and found it drowned...for what it's worth.
 

flowerbug

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Btw, most of the hornworms I have seen in the last few years were covered with the white eggs of the parasitic wasp, and their young eat them from the inside out. The one I found last year was close to fast food cup that had water in it. I dropped it in there and found it drowned...for what it's worth.
i've not seen many of those here, we've had a number of crops of tomatoes, some years hardly any worms at all or even none. other years i've had to pick off worms and that is ok if i can get them early before they do a lot of damage. it is starting to be the time now where i have to check the tomato plants each morning along with checking the bean plants for the Japanese Beetles. just part of the routine...
 

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