Bugs eating plant - Knowledgebase Question

Lake Forest, CA (Zone 9B)
Question by egabaldon
August 31, 2007
I purchased several Magilla Perilla plants and some type of bug is eating the leaves. Is there something I can do to protect the plant?

Answer from NGA
August 31, 2007


I'm afraid there is no sure-fire way to eliminate the pests; not all pesticides are effective against all pests. It is important to find the insect and then to determine the right strategy. For instances, slugs and caterpillars can chew holes in leaves. Slugs leave a slime trail, caterpillars do not. The botanical Bt (bacillus thuringensis) is effective against caterpillars, but not slugs. Slugs can be eliminated with iron based slug controls (but these products will not affect caterpillars). Beetles can also chew holes in leaves; ground dwelling beetles are usually considered beneficial; transient beetles can move in, feed and then go on their way. Therefore, insecticides aimed at beetles may not be effective if the beetles have moved on. The best course of action is to inspect your plants several times a day for several days until you can find the culprit. Once you know who the enemy is, you can take appropriate steps to control it.

Best wishes with your garden!

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