something is eating little holes in my green foliage,,help

Grifton, NC(Zone 7b)

Something is eating little holes in my foliage.One plant is almost gone.What can I use on them?I am worried I'm going to not going to have any plants left?

(Zone 7a)

Hi HID - there are so many things it could be. Maybe if you could take a look at this thread and Gerris2's link , and then tell us how your situation compares, then perhaps we could narrow down possible culprits. In terms of the information on that thread and link, can you give us a better description of your MGs and leaf damage?


Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

forcingflowers - A photo would help us to help you...

Grifton, NC(Zone 7b)

The menice eating my MG's are LADY BUGS...HELP ANYONE...

(Zone 7a)

HD, ladybugs are one of your best friends in the garden, because they devour such huge quantities of aphids and other insects that DO eat plants. The adults will eat some pollen and nectar later on, but it ain't the cotyledons and young seedlings that interest them.

I found a description of their life cycle on Google. You have to play around with what you put in Google's search box, but I found the following link by typing

"lady bug" + aphid

into the search box of

and came up with this: Note how I used the quotes and spaces in what I put in the search box.

There are other websites that will come up that will show you several different kinds of insects that go by the common name of lady bug, and they do look similar to each other.

Have you actually seen the lady bugs eating the leaves, or are they just sitting there? There are some more likely possibilities that MGJapan mentioned that might be more worthwhile to look in:

and another one for slugs:

MGJapan illustrates these posts with photos. Do any of those resemble what's been happening to yours?

My cotyledons had those spots, too, but the first true leaves are forming, and so far they look healthy.

Schriever, LA(Zone 9a)

I am having the same problem, ForcingFlowers. Something has been having a feast on my MG vines and they are looking positively ratty. This morning I even went out with a flashlight. I was thinking that I would find snails or slugs, but what I found was a small brownish catepillar about an inch long. There was only one on the underside of a leaf which I picked off. How can 1 small cat do so much damage? He's history now, but does anyone know what type of catepillar it might be and how to control them?

(Zone 7a)

Like you, Ladibug, I did not store a caterpillar I found in one of my wintersowing containers, either. Without a picture of yours or mine in front of me, I can't identify it, but #9 in the following link, the Yellow-Striped army worm, resembles it - . Both it and #10 (Southern army worm) feed on morning glories (sweet potato = Ipomoea batatas)

There's a list of caterpillars specific to morning glories at:

Hopefully having the names of these pests and diseases that can cause various kinds of leaf spots and holes will help in searching for answers.

Grifton, NC(Zone 7b)

Well,I am glad the bugs,slugs and pests are feasting.Yes,they are Ladybugs.Is there anything I can dust my plants with safely?

(Zone 7a)

HD, proximity doesn't prove cause. The convergent ladybug has a "look-alike" in the spotted cucumber beetle: Could this be what's on your plants? Pest control is discussed on that website, though I can't say how safe it is.

Other less toxic controls of the spotted cucumber beetles - and others - are discussed in some detail on the DG thread: . This thread discusses different strains of Bacillus thuringiensis that not only control beetles, but also caterpillars.

From Organic Plant Protection, Rodale Press 1976, some organic controls for the spotted cucumber beetle include late planting (or keep plant indoors until after these beetles' season is over, about June 15 in Ohio); mulching; beneficial predators like soldier beetle, tachnid fly, braconid wasp, nematode. You'll need to research which ones.

For slugs, there's a great thread on DG:

For birds that break off young leaves and stems of seedlings, draping bird netting over my flats of seedlings works. I make three hoops of wire with another wire tying them together, like a "ridge pole", and use that as a support for the netting. For several flats, just use the contraption on the outside flats to hold the netting above them and the inside flats.

Without pictures or more detailed descriptions of the plant damage and pest, we can only guess the identity of the real pest. Y'all let me know if any of this made sense and what happens next in your gardens.

Netcong, NJ(Zone 5b)

forcingflowers - Are you able to post a photo of ther beetles you are seeing...because >

Ladybugs are carnivorous and feed on aphids and other garden pests...they are not known to eat plants...

The Bug and Insect Identification Discussion Forum would provide more definitive answers

Good luck in the accuracy of your investigations and conclusions...


Schriever, LA(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the info Bluespiral. The catepillar I saw looks very much like the armyworms you provided links to. Looks like I'll be on the prowl with my flashlight more often, LOL.

Roma, TX(Zone 9b)

Something is eating my patata (MG) leaves and also the leaves of my Starburst shrub..both are pocketed with holes and I can't find the culprit..can anybody figure this one out?

Birmingham, United Kingdom

It is probably "convolvulus hawkmoth"

I use a systemic insecticide here called provado but stay clear of rose clear as it has caused twisting of leaves and stems...but any insecticide I use at 1/4 strength at most 1/2 use to use a sledge hammer to crack a nut I say.. :P They have started to overwinter here in the UK

Here is a link to convolvulus hawkmoth including it's native range it feasts on morning glories...

The Convolvulus Hawkmoth (Agrius convolvuli) is a moth of the family Sphingidae with a wing span of between 80 and 120 mm native to tropical Africa, Asia, Australia and North America but migrating north thousands of kilometres to the temperate parts of the world to produce a summer generation.

Not my photo here is one on a petunia - lovely moth though...!

Thumbnail by Rareseedman
(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

ut ohhh LOL I have alot of those..

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

As a Butterfly and Hummningbird gardener ... I have to put in a good note for the Moths ... they pollinate your blooms! Which in turn gives you seeds, which in turn gives you future plants. The caterpillars DO eat the plant leaves, but rarely do they kill the plants like disease or larger pests such as deer. (And I like deer, too!) I garden with plants that specifically woo all kinds of moths and butterflies into my yard. I love the adult butterflies/moths! And strange, but true ... I raise the cats (caterpillars) in cages. :-) I actually like the cats, too! My students and I also raise them in our classroom! It has a big WOW factor when they emerge from their chrysalis or cocoon as beautiful butterflies and moths. :-)

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

I just let them do what they want to , Becky.. nothing better than seeing moths and butterflys around your plants pollinating! Brings seeds to replace those eaten leaves.. right?

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

Absolutely! And the butterflies and moths add action to the whole scene! I love it! Busy in my yard during the day ... and at night, too! It's a wonderland out there! No wonder I hate being indoors for very long. Too much fun outside! :-) I should have been a forest ranger. I think I missed my calling. I am such a nature girl!! :-) :-)

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