Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

Eew!

Posted by: Martha Buns under Critters and pests Updated: August 8, 2013 - 8:14 AM

 

OK, so I don't like crawly things in general, but I really dislike them in my garden since they're most often after something I'd prefer they didn't eat.

 

This one is a new one on me. At first I thought it was a big rolled-up leaf on the sidewalk, but then I realized it was the fattest green worm I'd ever seen. My first instinct was to smash it to kingdom come before it could do any damage. My second was to run for my camera and the Internet to see what I was up against first.

It turns out that if you Google: extremely large fat green worm, you get a lot of hits, and several image hits that look like this creature. My first thought was hornworm, but my second was some sort of sphinx moth in the making. Since the only worm I'm really fond of is a book worm, I'm more into etymology than entomology, and don't share the same enthusiasm some people clearly have for finding obscure roly poly green blobs in their path.

So those of you who know, what is this thing, and how worried do I need to be? It's about three inches long. For perspective, that's a piece of small bark mulch in the upper right of the photo. I did an inspection but so far haven't found either more like it or any sign of what it might have been eating to get that healthy. I found it the morning after the recent storm, so perhaps somehow it was knocked out of a tree.

I do know that some worms are beneficial, and I avoid stepping on monarch caterpillars, but somehow this one strikes me as more foe than friend.

I realize it's no plague of locusts. And I'm still thankful that I don't face the same gardening menaces that my grandmother did. While homesteading in Wyoming, she would send my grandfather out armed with a hoe to dispatch the rattlesnakes before venturing out to weed and harvest. They came back with a box full of rattlesnake tails, and tales. So as always, it could be worse.

What's your least favorite garden visitor? Slugs are right up there for me.

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