Practising organic pest control has its frustrations.Rather than relying on toxic powders and chemical sprays to do the hard work for you, you have to rely on your cunning and Sherlock Holmes powers of deduction. And when you're up against tomato caterpillars you can come close to tears.
These wiley nematodes could teach Osama Bin Laden a thing or two about disguise and camouflage.
I've caught and squished about ten or eleven since they were laid as eggs in both my tomato bushes about six weeks ago. But some still eluded me. How did I know? Well, there were fresh holes in some of the back leaves and a mysterious trail of black droppings which I later realised were caterpillar castings! I followed the poo trail and two frustrating hours later... 'gotcha!' - two drunken caterpillars gorging Club Med-style on a feast of juicy leaves. Party's over boys.
caterpillar poo trail
The Perfect camouflage: no wonder I couldn't find them