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Garden Pest Management and Identification UBC Botanical Garden advocates the use of Integrated Pest Management.

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  #1  
Old October 8th, 2007, 12:34 AM
erin_juniper erin_juniper is offline
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Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

Pretty much everything in my garden has holes eaten into the leaves.
I moved recently and there are still new holes appearing. I look and look but the only bugs I see are ants but I never see them on the plants.
No tiny aphids, nothing.
What could be eating my plants?
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Old October 8th, 2007, 05:47 PM
Ian61 Ian61 is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

Sounds like slug damage. These critters are primarily noctural feeders, so they may be not noticeable during the day.
Some other bugs eat and run and may not be present either.

Ian
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Old October 9th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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1950Greg 1950Greg is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

Take a picture of the damaged areas if you can. There are a number of critters that eat your plants and each will leave different kinds of damage.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 11:55 AM
erin_juniper erin_juniper is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

Heres a pic of the leaves with the holes. It's a clematis.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 11:55 AM
erin_juniper erin_juniper is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

It's a little fuzzy, sorry.
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  #6  
Old October 10th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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Karalyn Karalyn is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

I'm wondering if it is earwigs that are eating your leaves. I have many clematis, and I do find earwigs once in awhile. Also, grasshoppers.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 12:34 PM
erin_juniper erin_juniper is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

I doybt I'll be able to figure out exactly whats eating the plants so is there any kind of bug repellant I can use, or maybe narrow it down to the most likely culprits and try to keep them out. I know for slugs som copper tape around the flowerbed edge will keep them out. What else would be good?
I have dogs so no poisons.

Thanks
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Old October 10th, 2007, 03:06 PM
Ian61 Ian61 is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

The damage may be unsightly, but unless the bugs defoiliate your clematis, just let them have their lunch and enjoy the flowers.....

Ian
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Old October 11th, 2007, 08:11 AM
growest growest is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

Possibly slugs, erin, as others have suggested...tho the damage would only be happening at early stages of those leaves...slugs prefer softer, newer growth.

It also looks a lot like cutworm damage, caterpillers that hide in the soil during the day. If you check the plants during the night ( bring a flashlight) you can often solve these mysteries.

Slugs are easier to bait/reduce than cutworms, which I've only solved with digging around the base of the plant to find the hiding caterpillers...labor intensive and never a complete fix.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 07:49 PM
erin_juniper erin_juniper is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

Thanks for the tips
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  #11  
Old October 12th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

Just yesterday, while cutting back my clematis and calla lilies, etc. I found an earwig in the calla lily stem hiding. I also noticed that slugs do climb! I usually squish them with a stick, my boot, or cut them in half with my scissors. I do that with hornets, wasps and earwigs when I see them. I have even been able to eliminate some grasshoppers that way. Sometimes it is after I stomp on them before they hop away.

So I do a grasshopper stomping dance and then finish the job while they are somewhat out of commission.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 12:53 PM
barb s barb s is offline
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Re: Holes in leaves but no bugs on the plants

Hi Erin, Sorry I did not see this earlier. I live in Langley, B.C. and I had the same problem with my clematis and rhodos. I went out at night with a flashlight and found alot of nasty weevils eating my plants. I have wrapped the trunk and branches with weevil barrier. Have not got them all but put a big dent in their appetite.

barb s
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