Green bean basil and peppers being eaten

Asked June 9, 2020, 11:51 AM EDT

Something is eating the leaves of my green bean seedlings, basil and pepper plants. What can I do ? I sprinkled some red pepper on them. But don’t think it helps. Do not want to use pesticides. Thx.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Hi-
Basil and pepper: there are a number of beetle adults and grubs (e.g., oriental beetle, Asiatic garden beetle) that fee in vegetable gardens in late spring. It's also possible that some of the leaf tears and holes were caused by slugs, caterpillars, wind, or rubbing. The plants look healthy and should be able to outgrow the injury. Remove all flower buds and small fruits from your pepper plants for a few weeks to encourage a strong root system and long-season fruit production:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvnLRhrZuTM
Bean- plant looks like it is struggling (leaves are small and off-color). There could be many causes, including challenging spring weather, aphids, Mexican bean beetle, other beetles, or poor soil and site conditions. Look closely at leaves (top side and bottom side) for signs of insect pests. Fertilize the plants if you have not already fertilized. If they don't improve soon, consider pulling them out and re-planting (when removing, inspect the roots for problems, including root aphids).

https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/aphids-vegetables
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/mexican-bean-beetle-vegetables