what to do with horn worms?

parishcromer

New Member
My cham wont eat these horn worms, so now they are 3 or four inches long :eek: What can I do with them other than killing them?
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
put them in a container of dirt and they will dig down in there and pupate. Then they will hatch out into moths. I just had 4 hatch out and I think it took about three weeks? You could feed them to your chameleons if your chameleons are adults. They are a much smaller prey then a fullgrown hornworm. They look big cause of the wings, but the wings basically disintegrate when eaten. If not, you could set them free but they will just die in a short period of time. I think they are just born to mate and die. I don't think they serve any other purpose in nature. Someone enlighten me on this subject if I am wrong. I am always eager to learn new things...:)
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
Don't release hornworms or the moths - they are agricultural pests. If you can't use them, destroy them. This should be a strictly followed rule for any purchased (not wild caught) feeder insect.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
put them in a container of dirt and they will dig down in there and pupate. Then they will hatch out into moths. I just had 4 hatch out and I think it took about three weeks? You could feed them to your chameleons if your chameleons are adults. They are a much smaller prey then a fullgrown hornworm. They look big cause of the wings, but the wings basically disintegrate when eaten.

Ditto this - it's easy, doesn't take anything except a little container of soil, and chameleons always go nuts for a fluttering moth. I feed them before the wings fully extend.
 

DekuScrub

Avid Member
Don't release hornworms or the moths - they are agricultural pests. If you can't use them, destroy them. This should be a strictly followed rule for any purchased (not wild caught) feeder insect.

you anticipate they may become some sort of invasive species? HA. if they could they would have.

honestly if i were you i would keep them all and hope they procreate. if so youve got your own little colony going.

im sure your cham would be happy to consume the smaller versions. If it has a problem with adults.

the term pest bothers me unless its an invasive species. the tobacco hornworm has moved as far as it can and as fast as it can and hasnt proven to be anything beyond a minor nuisance.

rabbits and groundhogs are pests, you know what i do, i dump enough refuse outside of the garden that they ignore my plants in the summer. plus my dog is a very aggressive animal and spooks them away.

maybe you should spray your garden with insecticide genius.
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
That was unnecessarily hateful.

My point was not a rebuke or a criticism of anyone. Just a reminder that it's not good practice to release things into the wild because they are unwanted. Snakeheads, pythons, even chams in Hawaii, and a plethora of other things became invasive because someone didn't think it was a big deal to release to release unwanted animals.

Will hornsworms grow out of control and destroy the world Godzilla style? Probably not. I still maintain that purchased feeder insects should not be released if they can't be used. Would you release feeder mice or rats if your snake didn't want them? What about parasites the feeders might potentially carry?

Just freeze and toss and you don't even have to worry about it.
 

techmikef

Member
I agree with Lathis on this one. Releasing anything you didnt get from the wild, into the wild is just irresponsible. Just because something seems harmless doesnt mean that it is. Perfect example of this is the saltwater Lionfish. Not native to the waters of Carribean, but because someone assumed that just because it was a saltwater fish they could release them, we now have an ecological dilemma to deal with. We now have entire organizations dedicated to finding ways to prevent further destruction to the reefs due to these creatures. Heres an article about it:

http://www.oar.noaa.gov/spotlite/archive/2009/articles/lionfish_invasion.html
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
More importantly, releasing hornworms or sphinx moths is illegal. You want to start letting things go in the wild because you, in all your ecological wisdom, don't think they'll do any harm is fine. But don't complain when most of our feeders become illegal to order or ship across state lines because the bad apples among us keep releasing them into the wild.

Keep in mind that we're not a popular slice of the pet-keeping pie, and certain entities look closely for reasons that we're screwing up the environment to make legislature that makes keeping reptiles harder and harder. Whether or not we're talking about hornworms, don't give them any ammo.
 
Anyone you know have chickens? I know they love mealworms and phoenix worms and I'm pretty sure they eat both hornworms and silkworms. Our son's sitter has chickens and if I have to get rid of some, they chow them up.
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
Anyone advocating release or denying these are agricultural pest obviously has had these attack their tomato garden. A few of these can destroy a garden almost overnight!
 
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