Asked on May 26, 2013

Angel Trumpet Pest

by Peggy
Can anyone tell me what is eating the leaves of my Angel Trumpet plant and how to get rid of the pest? Thanks
Angel Trumpet damaged leaves
  30 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 26, 2013
    Holes in the middle of leaves are often an indicator of slug activity. Try nesting a saucer in the ground and filling it with beer to see if you catch any.
  • Sow and Dipity Sow and Dipity on May 26, 2013
    Hmm, I find the slugs in my part of the world ( and we have a lot in the rainy PacWest! ) leave a mess behind. There is almost always slimy trails and they chew indiscriminately. Some pests known for holes in the middle of leaves are caterpillars, japanese beetles and leaf miner bee's ( the last not being a pest... just a borrower :)
  • Leah Belverd Leah Belverd on May 27, 2013
    looks similar to my Zinnias I know it's not slugs or snails eating first I thought maybe 'inch' worms, but I've always seen them on the plant in the past (underneath the leaves usually) Perhaps whatever is eating yours is the same as what is eating mine..looks like it! Hope someone has an idea?
  • Sherrie Sherrie on May 27, 2013
    Japanese beetles, aphids or mites and white flies.. It looks like Japanese beetles. They leave a lacy design as their eating them.
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on May 27, 2013
    You can also try some insecticidal soap and add some cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce to the mix. Just make sure you "test" the soap on a small area first.
  • Nancy Hand Nancy Hand on May 27, 2013
    I'm with Douglas on this one!
  • Peggy Peggy on May 27, 2013
    Thanks everyone. I think you're right Leah what ever is eating your Zinnias looks to be the same as what's eating my angel trumpets. I have started trying a few of the ideas --I'll let you know how things progress. Thanks again.
  • Conniece J Conniece J on May 27, 2013
    Check for thrips, tiny insects with BIG appetite, Safer insectidal soap was recomended on the site I checked..
  • Dee Mathe Dee Mathe on May 28, 2013
    This looks similar to the damage to our sunflowers (we planted several - & they all have this) - I took a damaged leaf to the nursery & they told me it was a tiny caterpillar, & sold me a "Safer" product. Used it yesterday, so can't tell you if it cured the problem. They had stripped some of the leaves down to just the "veins" left... Hope you fine the answer...
  • Vickie Burroughs Vickie Burroughs on May 28, 2013
    I have black and red grasshoppers that eat on my trumpet plants, they are tiny when born and then they get huge 3 to 4 inches big. And the only thing I can find to kill them is my foot in a shoe and then they are hard to kill. Good luck with your trumpet! I love them.
  • Peggy Peggy on May 28, 2013
    Update for everyone. I have three plants and all three have the same problem. I know I probably should have tried a different suggestion on each plant, but I didn't... First, I gave all of them a good spray with the hose. Then I concocted a spray of dish soap, vinegar and water and sprayed both sides of all leafs. The two I have planted in the ground seem to be ok--no new holes. The one I have in a pot looks like the leafs are wilting (hopefully it's due to the heat and not the spray). I have a bud on one and can't wait for the flower!!
  • Patty A Patty A on May 28, 2013
    look for small green worms on the undersides of the leaves near the fresh new growth, as some have said. They look just like a stem; very camoflauged and I've found there is usually more than one per plant. Good luck!
  • April E April E on May 28, 2013
    that is a classic sign of worms the safest way to get rid of them is to use thuricide this is a safe chemical that only affects the worms just spray it on and any worms feeding will be killed thuricied works by binding up the worms digestive tract
  • Rita Long Rita Long on May 29, 2013
    I have the same problem with my angel trumpet plants and I always use Seven Dust to take care of the problem every year.
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on May 29, 2013
    BT sold under the trade name Dipel is an organic insecticide that is specific for worms. It is non-toxic to humans and other animals. Seven is a chemically based insecticide that not only kills worms, it can kill any birds that might eat them, not to mention the number it is doing on the microorganisms in your soil and unless you are careful how you handle it, it can do a number on you as well.
  • April E April E on May 29, 2013
    thuricide is also bt and is in a sprayable form that give you better coverage than the dipel dust as the worm has to feed on it for it to work
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on May 30, 2013
    Good point, April. I didn't make that clear. BT is sold as both a powder and a spray. Frankly, I've never had a problem using the dust. Not sure why you aren't getting good coverage.
  • Patty A Patty A on May 30, 2013
    I have to say, I get a lot of satisfaction spending a few minutes (with my glasses!) finding the little critters and squishing them by hand. If you look for their dark specks of excrement you can almost always find them near....I haven't had to use any powders or sprays at all. But this is for just one or two plants!
  • Jackie Smith Jackie Smith on Jun 04, 2013
    I also had the same problem last year; found cutworms on mine. I picked off the ones I could find, then used dawn dish liquid mixed in water to get rid of the others.
  • Sharon Burton Sharon Burton on Jun 08, 2013
    Looks like slugs or worms or grasshoppers. I have the same problem but can't see anything on them so I think it's slugs being as they come out at night. Pour beer in a shallow dish, place it at the base of the plant and that will kill them. Good luck
  • Sandra Lankford Sandra Lankford on Jun 10, 2013
    Peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle is the green way and it doesn't hurt plants.
  • Sharonhull Sharonhull on Jul 04, 2014
    I go out with a flashlight at night and carefully examine the leaves above and below if an unknown pest is attacking. That will almost always tell me which critter is doing the damage so that I can be specific in my pest control efforts. Slugs & snails require different treatment than insects so it does help to ID the problem before treating.
  • Greg Stevens Greg Stevens on Jul 23, 2015
    Thank you all for the solution to the green worms shredding mine. I also pick them off everyday but with tweezers. Will try the BT spray and let you know the results.
  • Jim Jim on Jul 06, 2017

    Inch worms, caterpillars or silkworms. I have an angel trumpet and that's what I found eats my leaves. they're nocturnal. you can find them at night if you turn the leaves over. pick them off. if you have a huge infestation try using Organocide or trim the plant down and let it regrow.

  • Gidget stivala Gidget stivala on Sep 06, 2019

    I have 4 angel trumpet trees they were doing great. Then all of a sudden in one night i only had sticks no leaves. I was so angry finally found the huge caterpillars on mine. Got rid of them now i have Japanese beetles eating it. Ugh! I’m not trying sevin dust spray. For the worms dish soap and water killed it. But beetles it didn’t. The caterpillars were huge like sausages and they became aggressive when i pulled them off. So i sprayed dish soap and water mixed on it within few mins they were dead. I hope the sevin dust don’t kill my angel trumpet trees. 😭

  • Vicki Kelly Mosley Vicki Kelly Mosley on May 24, 2020

    I checked mine this morning and it is a long slinder bug almost like an earwig. They hide in the new growth before the new leaves open

  • Robin Causey Robin Causey on Jul 21, 2020

    Devin. Dust is safe

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 09, 2023

    Caterpillars, which are the larvae of butterflies and moths, chew large, unsightly holes in angel trumpet leaves. Spider mites come in a variety of sizes and colors, but all are small--1/60 of an inch long--and form webs on the plants they inhabit.