Dealing with pests: Mint

Asked June 7, 2020, 9:41 AM EDT

There are these little white dots on the leaves that do not come off manually and I am not sure what they are or what to do with them. Rinsing doesn’t help as hundreds of little white bugs still make it into drinks. Drying the herbs take too long to be efficient and I’m wondering what to do. I thought planting them close to rosemary would help but it hasn’t. Any preventative information is appreciated or any at all. Thanks

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Hi- aphids, whitefly, leafhoppers, thrips, are sucking insect pest that will feed on mint, leaving tiny little dots (stipples) where they feed. Rosemary is susceptible to some of these same pests. If you are finding many white, non-moving specks it's probably aphids or whitefly. The specks are their shed skins from molting. If lots of white insects fly up when leaves are disturbed it's probably whitefly.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/aphids-vegetables
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/whiteflies-vegetables

Covering plants with a floating row cover early in the season or spraying with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil are some possible management approaches.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/floating-row-cover
Jon