Schila
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Help Sweet Basil - Please see pictures......

Please see the pictures to my basil and tell me what can I do :x . Before I saw caterpillar but they are not there anymore and I can't seem to find what is eating my basil :twisted: . One of the members (thebigtomato) suggested I use Ortho Max Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer. Now if I use the ortho, I guess I will have to wash the basil before using it. Then barefoot (another member) suggested to do the dish soap wash, but I'm afraid that I will have a plant full of bubbles :oops:

[url]https://www.myphotos.yahoo.com/s/215j3baet7i4ljk1tr32[/url]
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gumbo2176
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Re: Help Sweet Basil - Please see pictures......

Schila wrote:Please see the pictures to my basil and tell me what can I do :x . Before I saw caterpillar but they are not there anymore and I can't seem to find what is eating my basil :twisted: . One of the members (thebigtomato) suggested I use Ortho Max Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer. Now if I use the ortho, I guess I will have to wash the basil before using it. Then barefoot (another member) suggested to do the dish soap wash, but I'm afraid that I will have a plant full of bubbles :oops:

[url]https://www.myphotos.yahoo.com/s/215j3baet7i4ljk1tr32[/url]
From your picture, it really doesn't look like many leaves are being eaten on. I accept some damage from pests and if I see such leaves, I'll just pick them off and not use them. I wouldn't spray. Basil, when growing well, produces more than you can use unless you are making pesto almost every day.

Best bet to find the culprit is go out at night with a flashlight and inspect the plant to see if you have some type cut worm or leaf eater doing the damage during the night. I'll pick them off and do away with them.

I'll use bar soap cut in slivers and dissolved in water for my soap spray when going after aphids or some mites. Some folks use home made cayenne pepper and garlic sprays for pests that eat leaves.

Schila
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Gumbo:
I have leftover pieces of bathing soap at home,you know the ones that you just can't use anymore. So put them in a sprayer and spray the basil leaves? Won't that leave like a soapy flavor on them? How do you do it? :P
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gumbo2176
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Schila wrote:Gumbo:
I have leftover pieces of bathing soap at home,you know the ones that you just can't use anymore. So put them in a sprayer and spray the basil leaves? Won't that leave like a soapy flavor on them? How do you do it? :P

I put several slivers of soap I'll cut from the bar in a spray bottle like Windex comes in, add hot water to quicken the soap dissolving and simply spray it on the plant. You'll definitely want to wash off any leaves you use later.

Like I mentioned, I use the soapy solution on aphids and mite infestations and that doesn't appear to be your problem. You may want to try the pepper, garlic solution on leaf eating pests. If you wait a bit, you will likely get many more responses to this post with more advice. It doesn't look like your plant is being eaten so severely that it needs immediate attention.

cynthia_h
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The soap only works against insects. If the culprits eating your basil are slugs or snails--and the damage indicates that they might be--the soap won't do anything to get rid of them.

As suggested, go out after dark with a flashlight and look all over and under the plant. Destroy any slugs or snails you find (a trowel is handy for this destruction). Look along the soil, too, in case they're moving along from plant to plant. No chemicals are needed.

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Rogue11
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Caterpillars are very good at hiding, especially the green ones, you would have to turn over every leave to find them.
I found one on my basil a week or so ago, it was still pretty small. But usually if there is one there are more. So I kept looking every day, not only for the caterpillars themselves but also for telltale signs like their droppings. Found three more that way, the last one yesterday was almost the size of my pinky.
Occasionally I also have slugs and snails feeding on my basil. Check not only the basil plant but any possible hiding places nearby. In my case slugs like to go hide under my oregano and thyme during the day. The plants are bigs and it's dark and moist beneath, perfect little slug motels. :wink:

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digitS'
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Schila, soap is a contact spray so it must be in contact with the body of an insect to kill it. You can rinse the plant with a fresh water spray later. I like to spray soap (Palmolive Green or insecticidal soap) in the late afternoon and then rinse plants the next morning.

Slugs & snails may be deterred but I'm not sure about that. I've found that some sprays on the soil surface put a stop to the slimmers showing up on plants probably just because they don't want to crawl across it.

Your basil is really densely planted. Basil can grow like that but the plants can grow much larger if they aren't so close together. You may also be creating a very hospitable environment for slugs and snails or anything else that will hide from you. You may want to consider harvesting some of your basil by the entire plant to open things up a little in your container.

Also, move the pot and check for earwigs under it.

. . . just my 2¢ worth.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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applestar
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You generally don't want the leaves to overlap. You might start thinning them every other one ( and eat the thinnings :wink:).

Llooking underneath the pot is a great advice. Slugs and snails tend love hiding underneath and just inside the drain holes.

Schila
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Can I repot this basil to give it more room then???
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applestar
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Yep! Basils are very tolerant of being handled though the leaves are tender and prone to bruising. As with any seedling, don't hold by the stem but by cradling the rootball, and grab by seed leaves if you have to, since seed leaves are expendable. In fact, you can bury the stems up to their true leaves. :wink:

Newbie Mike
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I read somewhere that if you glue sandpaper around the perimiter of a container or raised bed, it will keep slugs and snails out. I've never had a problem with either, so I have never tried this..... just a thought

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digitS'
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hahahaha

Sandpapering Slugs . . . . hahaha

I like that thought !

Steve :twisted:
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Kisal
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The sandpaper idea is funny. :)

The truth, though, is that the slimy trail slugs and snails produce is so protective of them that they can crawl across the edge of a razor blade. I doubt sandpaper would bother them much.:(

[url=https://www.mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/Foliage/entomol/ncstate/slugintr.htm]Basics about Slugs and Snails[/url]
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digitS'
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Ah Kisal,

you took the fun right out of that . . .

Oh well, back to the SLUGGO!

S' :twisted:
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Slug/Snail Hunting is the way to go. Sluggo has an unbelievably high % of undeclared/unidentified "inert" ingredients. Who the heck knows what those are? Not I.

I do my very best not to use unknown substances in my food. Since I'm growing veggies/herbs for consumption, Sluggo and other unidentified substances are "in my food." :?

Go out to the garden about an hour or two after dark with a flashlight and a trowel or stick. Look above and below the plants and on the soil. You'll learn to distinguish the slugs/snails from the stems of plants fairly quickly (one or two forays).

Return them NOW NOW NOW to the soil--your carefully tended soil--from which they took the nutrients to build themselves up.

Recycling, you know. :twisted:

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Kisal
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Yep, like Cynthia, I'm a snail & slug hunter, out in the dark of night with my flashlight, protecting my plants from the voracious maws of the snails, with whom I very grudgingly share the property. LMFAO
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digitS'
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Sluggo is a bait.

I doubt if the iron phosphate that kills the slug/snail has any attraction to them. So, most of the bait is food. Food wouldn't be the active ingredient.

Slugs are a problem in my greenhouse and tunnel. That's where my basil spends quite a bit of time and may be planted directly into the beds in there. I've seen the sparrows zip into the tunnel grab a Sluggo pellet and fly right back out!

That is a little disturbing but the manufacturer assures us that the product is "safe to pets and wildlife." It is also officially an organic product.

Steve
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cynthia_h
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digitS' wrote:Sluggo is a bait.

[snip]

That is a little disturbing but the manufacturer assures us that the product is "safe to pets and wildlife." It is also officially an organic product.
OK. Here is where my deep-seated skepticism shows up:

1) I almost don't care what the manufacturer says. The only interest said mfr generally has is separating me from my money. Ever since the [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=134667]Checkmate brouhaha[/url] and [url=https://www.lbamspray.com/Health.htm]near-poisoning[/url] by our own state government (thanks again, Arnold! :evil:) in 2008, most of us in northern California really want to know, explicitly, what 100% of the ingredients are in everything. Period. No matter who assures us of what.

2) The USDA regulations/qualifications on "organic" that were almost passed three or so years ago were scary; the ones that did pass were better, but not by much. OMRI- or Oregon Tilth-certified are, to my mind, more reliable than "organic," which usually means USDA organic.

Snail/slug hunting is 100% safe to the gardener, 100% fatal to the snails and slugs detected. Numbers that I really like! :twisted:

Cynthia

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digitS'
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Drifting far from a large pot of basil with leaf damage . . .

Sluggo is [url=https://www.omri.org/simple-gml-search/results/%22Ferric%20Phosphate%22]OMRI certified[/url] as slug bait and Ferric Phosphate for livestock feed, as well.

300+ posts, I've known better than even to venture into the (Beyond) Organic Forum.

Steve :wink:
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Kisal
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The pic of the basil with holes shows what is pretty classic snail/slug damage. Caterpillars tend to start chewing at an edge of the leaf and eat their way inward toward the center. Snails and slugs have a radula, which is sort of like a tongue ... imagine a coarse rasp ... with which they scrape away the surface of the plant. They don't need to be at an edge, so they can get the leaf in their mouths. They just start munching away right in the middle of the leaf. :twisted:

OP is in Texas, and it's probably warm enough there for caterpillars and, perhaps, some beetles to be chewing on the basil. May beetles, maybe, although they are scarabs and big and kinda slow as a rule. I think they'd be fairly easily seen. [img]https://i252.photobucket.com/albums/hh27/Kisal_photos/dunno.gif[/img]

I classify snails as the enemy. I believe in knowing my enemy. LMFAO
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Last year ALL of my basil was destroyed overnight by slugs! When I went outside in the morning to check my plants, it was like a slug army all around my plants. The ones not on the plants or soil were treated to a nice shower of table salt. The rest I picked off and hit them with a rain of salt. I left them on the ground as a warning to their friends to stay away or the same fate would await!!!

I've tried diamotaceous earth, it works well for a short period of time. Becomes less effective after it gets wet. I think the best thing is to be vigilant if you do not want to use insecticides or products like Sluggo. Has anyone tried the organic pest killers that are being sold now?
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cynthia_h
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This is the point I was trying to make originally: "pest" killers are targeted at insects. Unless you *know* that the creature attacking the (in this case) basil is an insect, a "pest" killer will simply be a waste of your time, money, and energy.

The OP needs to identify the attacker first. Then the plan of action will become much clearer.

Cynthia

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A pesticide is a substance used to control or irradicate a pest, be it plant or animal. Pesticides are classified by what they are being used to control:
Herbicides...plants
rodenticide....rodents
insecticides...insects
funguscides....fungus
and so on.
Pesticides used on snails and slugs would be classified as molluscicides.
Not promoting use of any, just information on the definitions.

cynthia_h
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lily51 wrote:A pesticide is a substance used to control or irradicate a pest, be it plant or animal. Pesticides are classified by what they are being used to control:
Herbicides...plants
rodenticide....rodents
insecticides...insects
funguscides....fungus
and so on.
Pesticides used on snails and slugs would be classified as molluscicides.
Not promoting use of any, just information on the definitions.
Technically, this is correct, but most gardeners use the word "pesticide" to refer to insecticides. Wherefore my earlier comment.

Maybe, over time, the distinction will become clearer, but....for now I want to be sure that our members don't purchase insecticides in the hope of ridding themselves of slugs/snails. :)

Cynthia

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