Mystery insect eating Leaves!


I never see this insect, bug, caterpillar.. whatever. I just see the results of a lot of leaves missing or half eaten. Thuricide with BT doesn't work or or ortho products or essential oils. Please help.

q mystery insect eating leaves
q mystery insect eating leaves
  17 answers
  • Could be any number of things. I spread crushed eggshelld around the plants as most of the crawling things dont like to traverse over the sharp edges. Here are some other remedies for you. Look for tomato worms too.

  • Teresa Teresa on Oct 26, 2018

    Do you have Japanese beetles where you are at? They will devour plants like this. Also lizards also eat plants also. I have dealt with both. Hope you figure it out.

  • Dar Dar on Oct 26, 2018

    It's a Tomato Horn-worm. They love pepper plants. Check this site out and see how to get rid of them. They usually hide under the leaves of the host plant. They are very destructive and can eat a tremendous amount of leaves in a day.

    • See 2 previous
    • Dar Dar on Oct 26, 2018

      Be sure and look under the leaves as well.

  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 26, 2018

    Use a mixture of dish soap and vinegar. Spray it on plants bugs go away and no chemicals to hurt the plant.

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Oct 26, 2018

    could also be slugs/snails. i have my garden in pots so i can bring them in for the winter. I a, lucky have a lot of windows on south side of my house. a lot easier to spot worms, snails etc when plants are in pots and you can pick them off.

  • Patricia Patricia on Oct 26, 2018

    Diatomaceous earth will kill anything crawling. Use food grade if you have pets

  • A Stone A Stone on Oct 26, 2018

    You can take an nibbled on leaf to your local Co-Op!!

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Oct 26, 2018

    Neem Oil will suffocate most insects. I use it on ALL my flowers and veggies, when I see them causing damage. It works really well on my roses, with Japanese beetles.

  • I agree with Patricia, diotomaceous earth is the shiznit, i use a bulb syringe (baby snot sucker) and sprinkle generously around plants. You have to reapply after watering

  • I feel I should also mention, i thought we had a massive mystery infestation but it turned out to be a combo of deer and possums. They ate some poisonous succulent plants (white woman) and They were even eating my habanero pepper plants and I thought for sure no animal would eat something so spicy, i was wrong. Check around the plants for prints cuz you just never know

  • Glenice hanna Glenice hanna on Oct 26, 2018

    Looks like slug\snail damage to me .

  • DW DW on Oct 26, 2018

    i would spray with insecticidal soap, not much eats it...

  • Shannon Stordock Hecht Shannon Stordock Hecht on Oct 26, 2018

    Go out at night with a flashlight and check around the plant and on the backside of leaves. It looks like slug or tomato worm damage. Those guys are most happy chomping away at night! Once you find a critter you can find exactly what you need by checking a good local gardening center or university extension service.

  • Teresa Martin Teresa Martin on Oct 26, 2018

    I had mystery bugs. I used a mixture of dawn detergent and water. I soaked the leaves and branches all the way to the ground A week later I had a thriving plant

  • Debra Weller Debra Weller on Oct 26, 2018

    I had thriving cantaloupe plants until something stripped the leaves almost literally overnight. I went out in the evening and turned over leaves and saw some TINY silvery colored bugs that started flying around. Those little bugs are thrips and they can strip the leaves off plants without a trace, leaving a bunch of bare stems. I made a "tea" of basil leaves and added Dawn dish soap. Diluted it 50/50 and sprayed it on the plants every evening and it worked to discourage those "plant vampires" as I call them. They left my second crop of cantaloupes alone!

  • Ili Ili on Oct 26, 2018

    Probably the problem is Tomato Horn-worm, since the damage to my plants is usually different and not so extreme, and we have the snails/slugs/and other pests around. Try one advice at a time, so you don't get overwhelmed...JMO

  • Em Em on Oct 27, 2018

    To decimate a plant that badly it looks like a much larger creature than an insect. Ground hog or deer is more likely. Most insects chew holes or eat edges. Tomato hornworms are usually REALLY big and leave black balls of poo under the plant when they eat. Even slugs gnaw at the plant but don't do damage like this. Still spray plant with garlic and hot pepper mix. For garlic simmer the crushed cloves then strain and mix with hot pepper and spray. Each time it rains spray again both top and under leaves. Deer, rabbits and groundhogs do not like scents and the taste will make them back off.