Bex717
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:51 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona. USA

Basil Bugs Be Gone!

Hi everyone! I am a newbie gardener from Arizona and would appreciate any help with identifying what is eating my basil leaves and how I can help my plant out.

I found and relocated a green caterpillar but the damage continues each day. I am afraid I will soon have nothing left! I also have seen the below pictured bugs on the underside of a few leaves. Two bugs always together as pictured (mating?!). I hand remove these when seen. I have tried spraying a natural garden soap formula on top and underside of leaves but it has not seemed to help. Thank you in advance for sharing any knowledge with me.

Appreciatively,
Becky
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Leaf damage
Leaf damage
Leaf damage
Leaf damage
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Bugs with thumb shown for size
Bugs with thumb shown for size

Asica
Senior Member
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:11 am
Location: California (Los Angeles)

Re: Basil Bugs Be Gone!

For caterpillar use Bt, it is a bacteria that you dilute with water and spray.

AnnaIkona
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Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:20 am
Location: Canada zone 8b

Re: Basil Bugs Be Gone!

Maybe they are slugs. Slugs are common pests for basil, unfortunately. I am "fighting" them right now :)

What you can do to check if they are slugs indeed is to go out when it's dark at night (maybe 11?) and check with a flashlight on and under the leaves. Slugs like coming out at night time.

You can also take some beer and pour it into a small jar and dig the jar into the soil near the basil. Over night, you should find a couple slugs floating in the water.

Although a can of beer seams so priceless ( :> ) it is worth it when it comes to slugs and basil.

Give it a try and tell us how it goes! :)
Zone 8b, Canada

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Lindsaylew82
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Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Basil Bugs Be Gone!

I think slugs, too. If you give the plants a really nice sprinkle and wait a few minutes, or if you go out I. The early morning dew, you can find them. Don't have to wait up all night. Slugs work REALLY fast to destroy.

No wasting good beer!!! It attracts slugs as well, so you end up attracting even more to the party! Do then you have to keep feeding their incessant alcoholism! :roll: :> You could plant a few marigolds. They'll go for the marigolds over the basil, and they're self renewing. And they're easy to pick off!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

AnnaIkona
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Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:20 am
Location: Canada zone 8b

Re: Basil Bugs Be Gone!

Good point, Lindsay! If you are looking for a repellent and not a trap, try sprinkling crushed garlic around the basil. I've found that that helps a lot as well.
Zone 8b, Canada

Bex717
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:51 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona. USA

Re: Basil Bugs Be Gone!

Thank you all for your advice! I will try some of those tips out and report back. Fingers crossed! :wink:

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Lindsaylew82
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Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Basil Bugs Be Gone!

DE helps as well. Sluggo, too.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

Bex717
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:51 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona. USA

Re: Basil Bugs Be Gone!

Update: tried putting some beer out to see if slugs were the culprit… didn't "catch" anything. Did find another caterpillar on the basil and one munching away on the leaves of my jalapeño plant. Got some bt (thanks @Asica) and sprayed on Sunday… so far no more catepillars or damage!

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