If you are out in your garden and happen to be startled by this, don't worry, these are good things in your backyard in Montana.

These large, green and kind of creepy looking bugs actually can help not only your garden but also help with our entire ecosystem.

Who would have thought that a bug of all things could be helpful.  Sorta.  They do really, really like tomatoes though.  It is a fine line to walk with these giants.

What Is That Big Green Ugly Thing Crawling Across My Tomato Plant?

You may have encountered these at some point in your garden, your backyard, or even out camping.  This large bug is known as the hornworm caterpillar, and once the larvae stage is complete, they turn into something even more magnificent.

The hornworm is one of the largest caterpillars, growing to length in some states up to 6".  In Montana, most of these caterpillars will reach a maximum length of about 3", due to our shortened climate season.  And while these may be a tad destructive to some of your vegetation, they are beneficial to making more of those things we like to look at, or even eat when it comes to plants.

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Once They Become an Adult, The Benefits Start to Kick In

After the hornworm caterpillar reaches its full capacity, it then does one of those incredible nature things and becomes an amazing second creature to help us out.  The caterpillar will become a hummingbird moth.  These moths are detectable by the rapid movement of wings whilst gathering nectar.  Generally seen in the late afternoon or evening during the late summer and fall, these moths can collect pollen and deliver it up to 15 miles away.

However, they can devastate a garden in just a few days if left unchecked.  Most of the time, you can pick these caterpillars right off the stem and deposit them in a separate area.  They also make great chicken food apparently.

Want to learn more about these amazing bugs?  Check out the video below, and as always, be sure to let us know if you have any questions or have encountered any of these large green creatures in your yard or garden.  Email me here or chat us up with our social media or the app chat feature.

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