Attack of the Killer Tomato Worms

I am all kinds of evil.  Not only did I miss my post for Friday, I’m coming in with one that’s disgusting:

Tomato Worms.

Every year, I get a least a few.  Normally I don’t find out I’ve gained a parasitic little party-crasher until a least two branches of my tomato plant have been stripped bare.

I thought I was done for this year.  My larger plant started showing signs that it was the munchy-of-choice for a tomato worm.  Since I’m trying to be pesticide free in my little garden, I hunted for the worm and any of his friends to find them and squish them.  But hunt as I might, I couldn’t find the little bastard.  I was forced to resort to Sevin dusting the plant–lightly as possible.

That was about a month ago.  Thursday, I started seeing it again.  The little bastard was killing my plant….so I hunted, never found him, and went for the Sevin dust–heavily.  Screw pesticide free, it was ON.

Today, I noticed the tiny cherry tomato plant on the opposite side of the patio–the worm equivalent of a whole continent away–was looking picked clean.  Son of a…..out I went.  This time I was going to find the offender and squish him.  Or possibly snip him with my garden clippers.

I found one right off.  About an inch and a half long and slightly less diameter than a pencil.  Snipped off that end of the stem and squished his green body under the leg of a patio chair.

But something told me he wasn’t alone.  So I went back.  For over an hour I hunted.  Nothing on the bigger plant.  And nothing left on the smaller…..and then I saw it.  Like something from a bloody sci-fi horror film.  Straight from the intergalactic hub of alien invasions, Vancouver, B.C.   Clinging to a spindly volunteer tomato that was trying to reach its way out of the man-eating-squash jungle, was the biggest, most disgusting tomato worm I’d ever seen.

Seriously, I didn’t know they even GOT that big*.  I usually get these things when they’re around the size of the first one I spotted–an inch to an inch and a half, and never any bigger around than a pencil.  Sometimes they’re even smaller when I end them.

This sumbitch was bigger than any of my fingers.  He was bigger around than my thumb and at least 4 inches long–when he was contracted.  I’m pretty sure he alone was responsible for 98% of the tomato plant carnage I’d been seeing.

And I was pissed.

I clipped off the already-stripped stem he was devouring and flung it onto the patio.  As big as he was, I couldn’t risk a close-range squish–it would be begging for a coating of green goo, and no one wants that.  I finally rolled him over with a garden cart.  Even with the green goo emanating from his back end, the little fucker KEPT EATING THAT STEM.  He was technically still moving and going at it when I went in the house.  I mean, there’s no way he could survive having his guts trailing out his ass, right?

Honestly, I give loads of thanks he wasn’t bigger than that or I would have been facing a reenactment of Tremors.  If he has similar-sized friends out there that I missed, I may yet be forced to take more drastic measures.  I’m seriously considering assembling my arsenal of large cal ammo and “a few household chemicals in the proper proportions.”

If you don’t have a post from me as scheduled this week?  Send Kevin Bacon.

 

*Now that I have googled I’m horrified to see they DO get this big. WTF!

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