Scat or chrysalis?

Asked July 22, 2019, 7:48 AM EDT

Hello, found these small pellet like objects on my deck this morning. Is this scat? Or chrysalis, maybe? The geometric pattern made me think it wasn't scat. Pictures attached. Thank you,

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

Hi- this is caterpillar scat. The insect was probably feeding on plants sitting on or overhanging the deck. Are there tomatoes on the deck? It looks a lot like hornworm droppings.

Thank you! Yes, this was just near our tomato plants growing in containers. Any idea of what we should do with hornworms?


Here is our page on hornworms, including information on their control:

The good news is that they are often controlled naturally by a small wasp. If the hornworm has been parasitized, it will look like it has rice sticking out of it, as shown in the link above. Leave those. They will soon die.
Otherwise, they can be brushed/picked off and put in soapy water.