something eating my plants - Knowledgebase Question

Hoffman Estates, Il
Avatar for sandybeach39
Question by sandybeach39
August 10, 2010
I have 2 lysimachia punctata loosestrife alexanders. They were beautiful until something started eating them, now they are just sticks. What could be eating them? I have them with mums and blackeyed susans and they are fine. Can you help before they disappear forever?

Answer from NGA
August 10, 2010
Lysimachia is generally disease and insect free so I'm a little perplexed about your plants. Deer will feed on them (but not necessarily on mums and black eye Susan) and when they feed they generally strip the leaves off the plant, leaving the stems intact. If there are no deer in the area, I wonder if caterpillars are busy consuming the leaves? Look for frass (bug poop) on the ground beneath the plants. When caterpillars feed they leave behind little black pellets. Now that the leaves are gone, the pests probably are too but if you find caterpillars, use Bt (bacillus thuringensis) which is sold as Dipel or Thuricide. It targets only caterpillars and won't harm beneficial bees or ladybugs. Hope this information is helpful.

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