The tobacco horn worm is fiercely hated by anyone who’s trying to grow tomatoes. They have a veracious appetite and if left unchecked, will devour an entire plant in a day or two.
So why do I love these little critters so much, (actually they’re pretty big – three to four inches!)? I am completely fascinated by their life cycle. So, I’ve found a way to live in peace with these guys. I put them in a large tank and give them about three inches of dirt, (when they pupate they drop into the soil and burrow their way down). I give them the pruned branches from my plants each day. If I have a deadbeat plant that yields barely anything, that becomes their daily portion. It works for me and I’m sure they appreciate not being cut in half, (that’s how my sister deals with them; appalling)!
When they finally emerge from the soil, they’ve transformed into a marvelous sphinx moth. They are about the size of my palm and they really are a sight to behold.
I look forward to my yearly visit from my backyard buddies.