I do have several creatures I abhor, like scorpions and snakes, but a tomato worm is near the top. Not only are they disgusting in appearance, but in one night they devastated three of my tomato plants. According to my research, they are also fond of peppers. eggplant, and potato plants. Sphinx moths lay eggs, and the worm that hatches, which can be as long as two inches, happily chomp the plant right down to the ground.
As usual, Mother Nature camouflages them in green making them very hard to detect until I witness their destruction. Curiously, I’ve been planting Phoenix gardens twice a year for over thirty years and never had one worm–contrary to the four I’ve killed this week. Hell, the only reason I knew what was going on was because of my childhood experiences. My grandmother taught my sibs and me to seek them out in her huge garden. Of course, like kids do, we made a game of it to see who could find the most! Though harmless, we’d use a stick to pry their sticky feet off the plant and then stomp on them. Birds would feast on their carcasses.
Yesterday, my next door neighbor came over, and I said I needed to check the garden; again another tomato worm. I showed her. “Ye, Gods!” she exclaimed. “That’s they most despicable thing I’ve ever seen.” She gagged. (Highly doubtful, as she was a med tech in her early life, but she was clearly taken aback by the wanton destruction of my plants.)
Unlike some of the other creepy crawlys I’ve blogged about, these pests have no value to the environment. So if you see one, don’t feel guilty–nuke it and move on.
PS Thank you for all your recommendations on Italian food. Trying a new sauce recipe today.