Natural Garden Pest Control: Look at this Tobacco Hornworm

Natural Garden Pest Control: Look at this Tobacco HornwormEvery once in a while I see an example of natural garden pest control in my garden. Here is a tobacco hornworm on my tomato plants. My plants were never infested with them, I would only find one.  So I would just remove it with no damage done.  This year I found one that was covered with wasp eggs.  Nature was doing its own pest control. I was shocked when I found it because it is a striking image.

Tobacco Hornworms are very similar to Tomato Hornworms

There is also a tomato hornworm that looks very similar to the tobacco hornworm.  There is some confusion with pictures on the internet as to which is which.  Whereas the tomato hornworm has eight v-shaped lines along its back and black horns; the tobacco hornworm has seven diagonal lines and red horns.  This hornworm has been parasitized by the Braconidae wasp larvae.  If you find one with the wasp eggs on it, leave it is your garden.  The wasp larvae are feeding on the inside of the hornworm and will eventually hatch into wasps which are good pest managers.  So it is great to have them around your garden as you can see from this picture!  They took care of this hornworm so I didn’t have to deal with it!