What’s Eating Your Basil Plant Leaves

Basil Plant

Are you seeing something wrong on the leaves of your basil plant? Are there holes forming or other deformities that may indicate that something is happily chewing away at the basil leaves? Nothing comes easy and one of the biggest challenges of gardening is keeping the pests at bay. The following pests are known for eating basil leaves.

Slugs and Snails

Unfortunately, the good old slug finds the basil leaves as tasty as you would find them. There’s a good likelihood that you are dealing with slugs and snails if you find ragged holes along the leaves of the basil plant. These holes may become even more prevalent after a rainstorm has passed by.

Is there any way to prevent slugs from eating your precious basil leaves? Well, fortunately, there are some effective natural slug remedies to keep them away so you can keep these culinary herbs fresh and organic. You could, for example, set up a beer trap around the perimeter of the basil plants.

Japanese Beetles

These insects may also be the primary culprit that’s eating your basil plant leaves. The peak season for these beetles tends to be in the summer season during the months of June and July. You will know that it’s the Japanese beetle that’s eating your basil plant if all that’s left is the larger veins along the basil plant foliage.

There are a number of ways to get rid of Japanese beetles, including the use of essential oils such as neem and cedar oil. A dust buster might come in handy for large beetle invasions.

Small Insects like Aphids

Aphids and other soft-bodied insects are also likely to eat your basil plants. These insects are barely visible unless you take a close glance at the leaves of the basil plant. They are mostly found in the underside of the plant leaves.

The best way to deal with aphids is to use a soapy spray. If you want to leverage the power of nature then it may also help to introduce some beneficial insects to the garden. Ladybugs, for example, love eating aphids. We also recommend giving your plant a quick hose to leave no stones unturned.


Another insect that loves to eat basil plant leaves is the leafhopper. Both the adults and the leafhopper nymphs will leave damage on your basil plant leaves by puncturing the underside of the leaves. Leafhoppers need to be dealt with quickly because they also secrete a watery saliva that leaves further damage along the garden plants.

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