Tobacco Hornworms on Nicotiana

We have two Nicotiana plants, also known as flowering tobacco, being raided by the tobacco hornworm. Want to know how to tell the difference between a Tobacco Hornworm and Tomato Hornworm?

The tobacco hornworm is generally green with seven diagonal white lines on the sides and a curved red horn. The tomato hornworms have eight V-shaped marks on each side and their horn is straighter and blue-black in color. These hornworms are the larvae of hawk or sphinx moths.

The plants were cutback today to promote new growth and I'll probably spray later this evening with Southern Agriculture Thuricide, a product that contains Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). I used BT a month ago and with one treatment it worked very well to get rid of the caterpillars. The trick is to spray in the evening because BT degrades quickly in sunlight.

Monarch Butterfly - Fun Facts

Found (2) more Monarch eggs outside so now a total of 9 caterpillars I'm caring for. One formed a chrysalis last night and will be emerging in 9-10 days. Here's some fun facts about the Monarch butterfly!

- The milkweed plant is the only thing the larvae will eat. Did you know that milkweed plants are being cut down to make roads and houses and the monarch butterfly population is decreasing because of this?

- Eastern populations winter in Florida, coastal areas of Texas, and Mexico. They return to the north in spring. Monarch butterflies follow the same migration patterns every year.

- Not all monarchs migrate back north. It appears that the monarchs that migrate to Florida may just stay there, making this population what is known as a “sink population".

- Did you know that monarch butterflies are poisonous? They won’t harm humans, but the chemicals from the milkweed plant that they eat when they are in the larvae stage builds up inside of them and gives them a poisonous defense against predators like frogs, birds, mice and lizards.

- Did you know that monarch butterflies go through four generations each year? The first three generations hatch from their cocoon state (also known as the pupa or chrysalis state) and live for up to six weeks, but the fourth generation continues to live on for up to six or eight months so that they can migrate to a warmer climate, hibernate, and then start a new first generation in the spring time.

Monarch Butterfly - Video Share

Here's my video I wanted to share of the Monarch Butterfly I raised. The papertowel it's walking on is soaked with sugar-water. I only kept it for a couple days as I wanted to release it outside so it could continue it's natural cycle.

Monarch Caterpillar - chrysalis to butterfly

It only took a couple days for the Monarch caterpillar to form a chrysalis on June 5th. Then just 9 days later, a new Monarch butterfly emerged from the chrysalis. To feed to butterfly, I made a sugar-water solution and soaked a piece of papertowel. After a few days of enjoying the butterfly, it was released so it could continue it's lifecycle. Below are pictures of the Monarch chrysalis and butterfly feeding off of the papertowel.

During the past week or so, I've been finding more and more Monarch eggs and tiny caterpillars on our Milkweed plants. I also noticed alot of them disappearing after a few days, which I think is caused from their natural predators like spiders, wasps, and lizards. It's not uncommon for less than 10% of them to survive. So in an effort to help out the Monarch population, I collected some more eggs so I can hatch and raise them to an adult butterfly. Right now I have 7 caterpillars. Three of them just hatched today. The Monarch caterpillar cycle only takes about 2 weeks so it's amazing to watch how fast they grow in a single day. The last picture posted here is one I took of a Monarch laying an egg on the underside of a leaf. I was just planting some more Milkweed plants one day and this Monarch was flying around me the whole time.

Monarch Caterpillar - WOW!

Today I found a gorgeous Monarch caterpillar chewing on our Butterfly Weed plant. First time I've seen one of these caterpillars in our garden because they are only attracted to Milkweed. The Butterfly weed I found it on was just purchased this year. I'll raise this one and post updates. He's already pretty large so it shouldn't take too long before it forms a chrysalis. Once it forms a chrysalis, it's only about 10 days before an adult Monarch butterfly emerges. Most adult Monarch butterflies can live from 2 to 6 weeks! I took this picture below to show you the size and stunning color of this eye catching caterpillar. Simply amazing

Hurricane Season Forecast Predictions

It's officially hurricane season now! Suppose to be a busier than usual season according to predictions. The June 2 predictions are released and estimates are higher than before.


Issue Date 9 December 2009
Named Storms: 11-16
Hurricanes: 6-8
Major Hurricanes: 3-5

Issue Date 7 April 2010
Named Storms: 15
Hurricanes: 8
Major Hurricanes: 4

Issue Date 2 June 2010
Named Storms: 18
Hurricanes: 10
Major Hurricanes: 5