chewed leaves on garden plants

Asked May 15, 2017, 6:26 PM EDT

I have peppers, sunflowers, tomatoes and herbs that have been in the garden in southern Charles Co for about a week and a half. We've had unexpectedly cool temperatures so the rate of growth is slow and some of the older leaves got white then beige then died, and I snipped them off. BUT now something is chewing holes and even entire halves of leaves of the bell pepper and sunflower plants (next to each other), not so much damage to tomato and squash plants close by. See attached pictures. One pepper plant was so demolished I had to replace it. When I pulled out the remains, I saw a large (inch-long) striped grayish brown beetle that scampered off. It almost looked like a June bug but narrower and with striped body. I don't know if it's the chewer or just happened by. I have seen one Colorado potato beetle also, which I crushed, but those usually eat the squash and eggplant, which seem not chewed.

Charles County Maryland

1 Response

We viewed your photos. Looks like the transplants were subject to cold damage and/or possible chewing damage. When subject to cold damage the leaf tissue thins, browns out, and leaves a hole.
It is possible that you may have experienced some chewing damage by a type of blister beetle or may have been guilt by association. They can feed on a wide variety of plant material and some are foliage feeders.

Damage is done so no control is necessary. Monitor the new growth of your plants. Warm season crops suffer slow growth during cool periods. They should start to take off once temperatures warm.

Look at our Vegetable Profiles of the specific crops you are growing and common problems to monitor and prevent problems