Saddam would have just asked to be shot

This is a hornworm eating my grape tomato leaf:

Hornworm eating a leaf

This is a hornworm after it and its leafy snack have been removed from the plant:

Hornworm in its last moments

This is a hornworm after I have executed it for crimes against horticultmanity:

See ya, hornworm

Any questions?



19 Responses to “Saddam would have just asked to be shot”

  1. 1 steven July 31, 2006 at 7:06 am

    I’m just glad the moth doesn’t lay more than a couple eggs in a given area. Imagine if they laid hundreds and hundreds!

  2. 2 Jenny July 31, 2006 at 11:50 am

    I know all the gardeners out there will hate me, but I feel bad for that hornworm (can’t a hornworm just get a decent meal?). This post did make me laugh out loud, but I think it was that nervous kind of laugh that one makes when one sees something horrific happen to someone else (i.e. America’s Funniest Home Videos).

  3. 3 jenn July 31, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    Did you throw the corpse out into the street for some bird or critter to find?

    Cycle of life!

  4. 4 Paz July 31, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    Ohhh! Poor thing. It looks kind of nice for the destruction it causes.

    Paz ;-)

  5. 5 Paz July 31, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    p.s. I like the new banner!


  6. 6 Judith July 31, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    I call the process you described and photographed so succinctly, “Premature insertion into the food chain.”

    Lately though, I’ve been getting a soft touch. I’ve actually been taking larva (larvae?) to the woods across the road from my driveway. But I live in the backwoods far from neighbors, so I can get away with doing that. Re-locating the pests won’t affect any other gardeners (I hope!).

  7. 7 Carol July 31, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    Uh, no questions. I just hope you were quick with the death stroke, so he didn’t suffer. (I try to be quick about it, a swift strike with the edge of a trowel is my preferred method.)

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener July 31, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    Steven, I had a hard enough time stepping on one of these guys. Hundreds? No way.

    Jenny, I laughed nervously, too…I kind of liked him, actually. I stood there for an awfully long time watching him and trying to decide what his fate ought to be, but then realized that there can be no sympathy for the devil in gardening.

    Jenn, actually, I left his carcass in the yard, and he was gone today. Could have been the birds, could have been the dog upstairs…it’s a mystery!

    Paz, he did seem kind of nice. And harmless. But for the part where he was eating my leaf. No one is allowed to eat my leaf right in front of me without my permission. Ahem.

    Judith, I thought about taking him out to the driveway or something, but figured he could probably find his way back. Tomatoes do have a strong scent, after all.

    Carol, it was quick. When I made the decision, it was a quick strike of the foot, followed by a little grinding of the shoe just to be sure. I wanted a swift death blow, not a lengthy torture session.

  9. 9 colesedwards July 31, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    that was so cruel. i looked and there was a picture…so pretty…little guy…. I was scrolling down and blamo. geez. can’t we all just get along?

    Side note…we had a Praying Mantis in our house last weekend. We did not kill him and put him outside in the grass.

  10. 10 inadvertentgardener July 31, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    Cole, I would have done exactly the same thing with a praying mantis — I’ve never seen one live but have always wanted to. Those are such interesting bugs. And yeah, I felt a little bad about the hornworm. He was awfully cute. But you should have seen how fast he was eating that leaf. It was like a starving man at a buffet…quite speedy with the chewing… I could not let that go on any longer.

  11. 11 gottagarden August 1, 2006 at 10:02 am

    They are very destructive…and we gotta have our tomatoes! Do you have other things planted around your tomatoes, like parlsey, for instance? You will attract beneficial insects to take care of the problem for you. They really work (so you don’t have to…lol…someone else said that, I know!)! Here’s a link that shows these great little workers:

    You have a great blog!

  12. 12 Laura Rebecca August 1, 2006 at 10:48 am

    So funny — you show that varmint!

  13. 13 Hanna in Cleveland August 1, 2006 at 11:18 am

    Hehe. That was funny.

    But, just for future refrence, you can offer them up to local teachers as a class room experiment. Apparently, they are a great way for kids to watch the process of metemorphohsis.
    Teacher’s Lesson Plan for Tobacco Hornworm Pupal Rearing

  14. 14 steven August 1, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    Think of the hornworms as dingos and think of the tomatoes as babies.. Do you want to go around saying “Dingo et ma baby?”

  15. 15 colesedwards August 1, 2006 at 9:43 pm

    maybe you could just put him /them…in your far neighbors yard…where they don’t care so much?I love the beneifical plant idea. My uncle JUST sold his beneficial bug farm and we use to get lady bugs in the mail from them. Are there other critters you could get to get rid of them? Cultivate some birds who would not eat too much of your stuff?

    Yes, the praying mantis was pretty cool. We watched him for a while in the grass and then he/she hopped away. I don’t know how he got on top of our water cooler in our kitchen though?

  16. 16 inadvertentgardener August 1, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Gottagarden, we tried to plant beneficial marigolds around the tomatoes when we first put everything in, but then we had to move all the tomato plants. I suppose I could move the container of parsley over to the same part of the yard as the tomatoes. Do you think that would help?

    Hanna, that’s a really cool idea — I wish I’d known about it when I smooshed the hornworm, honestly, because that would have been a much more pleasant way to deal with the situation.

    Steven, actually, I would like to be able to say that. Very much. Just for cultural superiority. :-)

    Cole, actually, my neighbors are growing something out of a barrel — I’m not sure if it’s tomatoes, because I can’t see it well enough to tell, but it might be. I don’t want to sic the hornworm on them. Well, I don’t, unless they keep yelling at George. Then all bets are off.

  17. 17 gottagarden August 2, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    It couldn’t hurt, I suppose! You need those little flat flowers, like on parsley, dill, alyssum, etc. It is so cool to see them working in your garden…no more icky stuff on your part!

    But, hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! No one gets between us and our tomatoes! Lol!

    Good luck with everything! It looks/sounds to me like you’re doing really well!

  18. 18 inadvertentgardener August 2, 2006 at 6:19 pm

    Gottagarden, thanks — there are certainly moments of garden drama, but regardless, it’s always interesting and a lot more fun than I would have ever imagined!

  1. 1 The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on September 5, 2006 at 8:08 am

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