Mystery Basil Bugs

HuntleyAEdwardsMay 9, 2011

I live on a second floor apartment and get lots of sun out on my 'patio' (it's a roof) so I have containers of plants out there. They're all thriving, especially the tomatoes and basil but recently the basil is being eaten. They leave little holes and nibble on the edge of the leaves. I went out late and found an earwig but haven't seen anything else on the leaves since I knocked it off. I've tried the beer trap with no success. Help me. I can't figure out what's eating my basil! It's not touching anything else.

I have picture for reference. I also have little red bugs that crawl on the plants every once in a while but they don't seem--SEEM--to be harming them.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/huntleyaedwards/sets/72157626561275695/

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Phildeez(9b)

I had a very VERY strange looking little colorful grasshopper on top of my basil one morning recently, I left it there and found it in a similar place the next morning next to a couple holes like in your picture. I am yet to identify it, but it caused very similar damage to my Cinnamon Basil in one day. I killed it and have not had further damage.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 2:54PM
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MartaG(7)

Ok first of all the cherry tomatoes look awesome! Great job! I love container gardening!!! Ok the red bug alomst looks like mites, but mites do not actually make holes in your leave they make spots where the leaf looks burned or lighter in color basically they are feeding on the chlorophil (spelling), what makes the chewing look are Japaneese Beetles, Grasshoppers, cutterworms, Slugs, and lastly ants. The nest way to get rid of all of these pests are to add beneficial nematodes to the potted plants. This is a great organism that naturally kills the pest and does not harm your plant or you! Email me for more info if you like.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 1:48AM
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Phildeez(9b)

Well I've identified what I saw, and I have also noticed more holes so I am on the look out for others. It was a baby Katydid! I should have thought of that because it looked like a grasshopper but with strangely proportioned legs, and slower moving. Keep an eye out because my damage is actually only on basil and not other herbs or tomatoes, and it looks just like your picture with brown edges and a hole.

Here is a link that might be useful: Katydid

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:08AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Aren't those insect babies CUTE?

Huntley, the damage I see could very well be from earwigs, among other things. Check for them at night, with a flashlight in hand.

A spider mite isn't nearly that large. Looks like one of the group referred to as clover mites. Could even be a chigger.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 1:40PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

What is a beneficial nematode? Would they kill root knot nematodes?

Thanks,

Vivian

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 1:22AM
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greyandamy

I'm glad to see this! My basil is being eaten too, holes (tiny but annoying) IN the leaves! I thought basil was to repel insects (smile).. I see no bugs but don't look at night (sleeping). Thanks for posting!

amy

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 8:10AM
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HuntleyAEdwards

I've looked up nematodes and I think that's what I'm going to try. I don't want to use anything toxic on my basil since I'm going to be eating it in a caprese salad once I start getting some tomatoes. I only wish I could buy them nearby rather than online, I'm a college student so money is always tight but $25 for 1 million? Yeah I'll try that.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:32PM
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IsleWalker

I've dealt with the snails, grasshoppers, put down corn meal for (?I forget)but I haven't been able to control these.

What causes this?

IsleWalker - Lora

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:58PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I have Katydids eating my strawberries. They are nocturnal. They sing like the crickets do. I read that garlic spray works on them.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:56PM
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nicoledilbeck

Does anyone have any idea what these brownish egg-like ovals on the stems of all my basil plants could be? There are no abnormalities on the leaves. I have had these plants for about 6 months and they have all been healthy, but seemingly overnight these eggs appeared on my plants and seem to be quickly devastating them. I live near the ocean in a warm climate if that is helpful. I am battling an aphid infestation on nearby jalapeno plants, but this looks like something totally different. Any advice for a novice gardener would be much appreciated! I have ordered neem oil to try, but it won't be here until Monday(there are no garden/hardware stores anywhere close by).

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 2:52PM
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