I have a problem with bugs eating my flower leaves. Primarily my Dalhia and canna plats. I heard that if you spray the plants with some soapy water, it will keep the pests away. Is this true? Suggestions? Thanks!
Soapy water will kill the pests but you have to hit them to do it. It works on contact only.
In Pesticides class, the rule of thumb was holes "in" the leaves as fungus and bacteria which grow in water droplets.
And holes at the edges of leaves as insect or larvae, since that's a common starting point for a meal.
It wasn't an absolute, but it was a good guideline.
Garland, dahlia leaves are a favorite for slugs, particularly the young plants, but I've found them as high up as 3 ft on a mature plant. Do you have a regular slug protection plan going? That would be number one thing to try. If you have pets, go for Sluggo or another iron phosphate based product. Stay away from Corry's or metaldehyde based products (very toxic to pets.)
Earwigs are notorious chewers, but mostly on dahlia buds or blooms; not so much on the leaves.
Caterpillars are another source of leaf/bloom eating. Encourage birds or hand pick those yourself and you'll cut down on the damage they might do.
Thanks poochella. I have found a few slugs on my plants. I pick them up and discard them. I don't see many though. Can a few slugs do alot of damage?
How big are the holes, what shape, and where are they?
The holes seem to be on the inside of the leaves. Not very large. Some holes can be up to 1/2 inch. I have found a few slugs in my Garden. I have looked to see if their are critters inside the roled leaves and I don't see any.
Some of the shot hole fungus, etc., exude chemicals that burn foliage and the circular oval hole will be relatively smooth edged, possibly with a halo of grey or discoloration. Insects are not consistent with smooth even edged holes.