The Q&A Archives: Pest Damage - Bougainvillea

Question: Something is eating our in-ground bougainvillea and I can't see anything obvious. Evidence: leaves are being eaten from the edges down to the stem. Also, it looks like there is black pepper all over the leaves. The

Answer: What you describe sounds like evidence of feeding by the Bougainvillea looper, a small green caterpillar. The pepper you're finding on the leaves is frass (a technical term for bug poop). The loopers can be controlled with applications of Bt (trade name Dipel). Apply according to label directions. Best wishes with your bougainvillea!

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