Slugs are considerably longer, around five inches and do not have a shell. Aphids mainly feed on tender new growth, causing the leaves to appear malformed. Taking great care of your basil is just a matter of giving it a proper location and adequate nurture. How to Dry and Use Lemon Peel. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. First, try picking them off by hand. That way, you’ll have plenty of basil for your pesto and spaghetti sauces, and the insects, who are only trying to survive, will be able to have their dinner as well. That's when you'll notice plant damage. Control snails and slugs by encircling your bed with copper fencing or diatomaceous earth. Symptoms of this pest may include wilting, low yield, and the leaves becoming discolored, all related to nutrient deficiency. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France. Another option is to place a bowl of soapy water under the basil and shake the plant repeatedly until you dislodge the bugs. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Because basil is such a soft-leaved plant, organic pest control methods are best if you don’t want to eat poisonous substances that can remain on the leaves. They multiply quickly and can destroy a plant quickly, but the good news is that they are fragile. Iron phosphate granules, sold as “Sluggo,” are also effective for these pests. You can control Japanese Beetles biologically by deploying Milky Spore Disease (Bacillus popilliae) to your garden. Aphids mainly feed on tender new growth, causing the leaves to appear malformed. of water, and use it to spray your plants if mealy bugs or whiteflies affect them. They damage plant roots and inhibit a plant’s ability to collect nutrients and water from the soil. Aphids are very common garden pests that look like moving dots on the leaves. Spraying this on the basil leaves gets rid of aphids quickly. Neem and horticultural sprays are also effective. Control ants as soon as you begin to notice them, because they bring insects such as aphids and scale to the plant and eat their sticky secretion. It is obvious where these pests have been by their slimy trails. Unfortunately, a few garden pests appreciate basil as much as you do. The roots may swell as well. For indoor plants you can wipe the leaves. This product contains sharp grains that scratch slugs that cross it, leading to dehydration and death. Root-knot nematodes are microscopic roundworms. Yellow pest strips can be purchased which, when deployed, will attract whiteflies by their yellow color and cause them to stick to the strips. Start keeping an eye out for Japanese beetles in late spring or early summer. When a garden pest is eating your basil leaves, they leave "evidence" to help you identify the specific culprit. Dig diatomaceous earth or wood ashes into your planting area before you set your 3 to 4-inch basil plants into the soil. The ants don’t hurt your basil, but the aphids and scale suck the fluids from your plants. Knock all ants off your plants with a sharp stream of water, and then spread a product called Tanglefoot around the base of your plants to prevent the ants from returning. Beer traps. How to control them Know When You Can Start Growing Basil Outdoors. This usually happens when ants get involved by "managing" the aphids to eat the sweet substance they excrete, called honeydew. Migrated from the Far East to the East Coast, these metallic green beetles can cause a lot of damage. For example, if your plant has aphids, you'll have to look hard to spot them. If you find them in combination with the black spots, then you can be sure that your basil is invaded by leaf miners. Plant marigolds in affected spots to kill the nematodes. If you brush up against your plant and see a small cloud of white flies move away then this is your problem. Keep reading to learn more about plants that naturally repel aphids as well as trap plants for aphids. Start basil seeds in flats filled with potting soil and then keep them on a table in a sunny spot. All Rights Reserved. Plants That Naturally Repel Aphids. Not all bugs eating basil are large enough to spot and grab easily. Alternatively, use insecticidal soap or buy ladybugs to devour the aphids. Give it ample elbow room to allow good air movement. Slugs are most present during wet weather and come out at night to feed. Bugs like basil just as much as humans do. Cover your basil plants with floating row cover (such as Reemay) if you have a large population of troublesome insects such as beetles or grasshoppers. Basil's large leaves are extremely aromatic, and you can find cultivars in a fabulous array of flavors from lemony-mint to licorice. Yes, that would be basil (Ocimum basilicum), an essential in Italian cooking, particularly indispensable for pesto.

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