The Q&A Archives: black bugs?

Question: a few weeks ago i planted some seeds in peat pots and now some are just popping through the soil. my taller plants have larger leaves, and seem to be growing faster. a couple of days ago i was watering them and i noticed there were holes in some of the taller plants leaves and i didn't know what caused them. today i was looking at them with my mother and she noticed little black bugs on them, so we have seemed to solve the mystery of my holy-and slowly browning plants, but im not sure what type of bug they are, they are very tiny and black, almost like a beetle. i was wondering if they could be aphids? and if there was anything i could to get rid of them without hurting my plants. the plants are still small and i worry that washing the bugs off would tear the leaves. they don't seem to be dying but holes and browning cant be good. I'd like to get rid of them before the problem gets worse. any help would be appreciated.

- Danielle

Answer: Aphids do not eat holes in leaves. Instead, they gather on the most tender leaves and flower buds and suck the fluids from within the tissues. Since we don't know what exactly is feasting on your seedlings I think the safest thing to do is to wash them off. Just pouring a glass of water over the leaves should at least get the bugs off the plants. If you can collect a few of the pests and put them in a plastic bag, you can take them to your local nursery for positive identification. Once you know what they are, you can choose a control measure to eliminate them from your new plants.

Best wishes with your plants!

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