Holes In Fuchsia Leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Lakewood, CA
Question by carolld
March 16, 1998
I'm finding little holes in the leaves of my fuchsias, and little black poppy seed-like 'droppings' around the pot. I've treated for snails, slugs, crickets and pill bugs - to no avail. What's eating my fuchsias?


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Answer from NGA
March 16, 1998

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The scientific name for the droppings is 'frass'. Gardeners just call it 'bug poop'. The critter eating holes in your leaves is a caterpillar. They are voracious feeders and leave frass because they eat and poop at the same time. If you haven't seen the caterpillers, they may be gone now - either moved on to other territory, or are pupating and will soon become adults and fly away. There's no point in using an insecticide if the insect isn't actively chomping away. If you findcaterpillars on your plants, you can treat with Bt (Bacillus Thuriengensis). It's a bacterium that acts as a stomach poison. The caterpillar has to consume the Bt, so expect them to continue to eat for a day or so before the bacterium takes effect. You can also just hand-pick any larvae you see. Hope the mystery is solved soon!

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