Cucurbit leaf damage by unknown

Asked July 2, 2020, 1:10 PM EDT

Let me preface that I am new to gardening in this county. I'm from Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. I have planted my first garden here in Mosier. I transplanted a cucumber, spaghetti squash, summer squash and pumpkin plants. The seed planting of the summer squashes succumbed to a cut worm before I detected what was happening and how to protect the seedlings. Now something is eating the leaves of the cucurbits, except maybe the watermelon. It looks like lace in just a day or two with just the veins remaining. The pumpkin plant is only hanging on due to its rapid growth. It doesn't appear to be a leaf miner as there is nothing left of the leaf between the veins. What is eating it and what do you suggest to do to protect these plants? I have a neighbor a football field away that is having the same issue. Thanks!

Wasco County Oregon

5 Responses

Will you please send images of the damage and the whole plants? What does your garden and the neighbor's garden have in common, if anything you know of.

Thanks for the quick response. I attached a photo of the damage to one of the plants. There is a slight sheen on the leaf too; like a slug would leave but lighter. There have been no slugs on our property since 2013, unless I brought one or more in with the transplant...and I haven't seen a slug leave veins behind.

I don't know anything more than location that I have in common with my neighbor. We have not discussed where we got our transplants from.

I appreciate your help! Jodi

That sure looks like slug damage. Perhaps you could put cheap beer in a shallow container to attract any possible slugs, or a board slightly raised above ground level (if slugs are present they will appreciate that dark place to hide. Since slugs are nocturnal you can turn over the boards and destroy any slugs there. Slugs will also go toward moister places because they dehydrate so easily. I have included a link below to Iowa State University article about dealing with slugs. If it turns out you don't find any slugs please feel free to let me know and we can investigate further.

It sounded reasonable so I set out a shallow container of cheep beer last night. No slugs. 25 earwigs of various sizes though. Glad the beer works on them too.

When I go on line to view damage by earwigs I see exactly what I've seen on my own transplants. Thanks for getting me started in the right direction. Jodi