What’s Eating Your Pea Plants

Pea Plant

Is there a mysterious visitor to your garden bed that likes to eat your pea plants overnight? It’s important to identify the pest as soon as possible to keep your pea plants in good shape. Here are the most common pests that love feeding on the leaves of pea plants.

Leaf Miners

As their name implies, leaf miners cause significant damage on the leaves of pea plants by leaving pale blotches and ‘tunnels’ along the leaves. It’s more of a cosmetic damage though so the growth of the pea plant won’t be stunted as long as you deal with these pests at an early stage.

Since you will most likely be wanting to eat the peas when they are ready to harvest, we suggest you take a natural approach to getting rid of the leaf miners on the pea plants. Try using a method including neem oil to disrupt the leaf miner’s life cycle, or for a long-term approach, consider introducing good bugs that love feasting on the leaf miners.

Aphids

Aphids are tiny insects that tend to appear on the underside of pea plant leaves. They will multiply in numbers very quickly and will feed on the sap of the pea plant until there’s no more. You will soon notice droopy leaves if the aphids aren’t dealt with quickly.

In terms of natural remedies, we would suggest blasting away the aphid colonies with a strong stream of water using a garden hose. Any remaining aphids can be dealt with by dusting powder such as flour for example.

Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber beetles may also eat pea plants. They don’t just feed on the foliage. They may also eat the stems and roots of the pea plants. Cucumber beetles typically have spotted or striped bodies so they are easy to recognize.

So how do you stop cucumber beetles from eating your pea plants? Well, one suggestion is to implement row covers above the pea plants when cucumber beetles start to emerge in the garden. This is more of a deterrence than an elimination method though. Before they emerge, we suggest implementing beneficial nematodes to the soil to curtail their growth.