What is eating the leaves of my Salvia, Flare

Asked June 30, 2020, 12:09 PM EDT

Is there anything that I can naturally treat this plant with ,so it doesn't die from what appears to be getting eaten by some sort of larvae or caterpillars unseen? Also Another Question how can I get rid of the squirrels that continually dig up my potted flowers That I spend lots of $ on every year ,I have this problem every year. they dig up my flowers and plant peanuts, that my nutty neighbor continually feeds them. I have tried a number of things , cayenne powdered pepper liquid hot pepper,, Fox urine, fox urine pellets, dried habaneros, and serrano and thai peppers. purchase stinky rotten egg combow from Home Depot etc. None of these have worked and have tried everything except poison, because I don't kill anything. Please Help me,Thank you, Mitch

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

We cannot say for sure what you are dealing with on the salvia and you may have to do some detective work. Some possibilities include slugs, earwigs, leaf feeding beetles, https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/leaf-feeding-beetles-flowers, etc.
Some of these insects may feed at night.
We suggest that you go out at night with a flashlight and see if you spot the culprit. If so, put on gloves and drop them into soapy water.
Keep monitoring the plants and let us know if you see additional symptoms. The plant may be able to tolerate some damage.

Squirrels - This can be common squirrel behavior. They like digging in loose potting soil and there are no easy answers. Sounds like the repellents have not worked.
Try laying some pine cones or sprinkling crushed oyster shells over the soil surface making it inhospitable for them to dig.
Although not attractive you can also try covering the container with a floating row cover to discourage them for a bit.
This situation is difficult if your neighbors is feeding them.


The squirrels are such a newsense and I spoke to her and she has issues and said they were her s and I told her how do you think they survived without her for all these yrs/

I will try to go out at night and take some soapy water I doo see quite a few slugs everywhere, do they eat tomatoes by taking bites out of them or is that the squirrels again and how can I stop that from happening it ruins me fruit.
Thanks again.

Squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and groundhogs are most likely to take bites from the tomatoes. Birds leave poke holes. The animals may be looking for moisture. You may want to sprinkle some flour around the area and look for tracks.

Also slugs can make a rasped patch on tomatoes. Look for silvery slime trails wherever they are active. Go out at night and look for them. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/slugs-and-snails-vegetables

There are no easy answers and here are some suggestions.
Pick your tomatoes before they are completely ripe (at the blush stage) and let them ripen on your kitchen counter. Cover the plants with floating row cover or fence the plants if wildlife.