Bug Eaten Leaves: Should I Cut Off Leaves with Holes?

No matter how hard you work on keeping your trees and plants free of insects, it is almost inevitable that bugs will still find their way to the leaves and eat them. This is always indicated by the holes that are left behind. If that happens, you might be wondering if you should cut off leaves that have holes in them from being eaten by bugs. 

If the leaf is more than half damaged by the bug, then you should cut it off the tree or plant. The same is true if the leaves have become yellowed or brown because of damage from bugs. Cutting the affected leaves off will direct needed nutrients to the other healthier leaves and allow them to thrive. 

Keeping your plants and trees healthy is hard work. You want to work to keep them free of bugs as well, but there will be times when the pesky insects will eat their way through the hardiest of leaves. You will want to read through this post to know what you should do next when that happens. 

Why Are There Holes in my Leaves?

Many people think that many holes represent some type of disease that is invading your plants or trees. However, this is not usually the case. In actuality, holes in leaves typically mean that some type of insect is invading your precious trees and plants. The most likely culprits are caterpillars and beetles. 

When Should I Cut Off the Leaves?

This is a common question because you do not want just to cut off leaves for no reason at all. If there is just a hole or two in a few leaves, you probably have nothing to worry about. However, when half or more of the leaf is taken up with holes that a caterpillar seems to have been feasting on, then you have a problem. 

The reality is that you have plants in order to beautify your garden. Leaves with holes in them detract from this goal. For this reason alone, you will want to get rid of any leaves that are unsightly in appearance due to the presence of major holes. Such holes also tend to destroy the leaf and turn then yellow or brown sooner than other leaves on the tree or plant. 

There are also nutrients to consider. There are only so many nutrients to be spread around to each of the leaves on any given tree or plant. You will want to cut off a leaf that a bug has ravaged because such nutrients will be doing it no good. Getting rid of the leaf as quickly as possible will enable those much desired nutrients to go to the healthier leaves. 

Why Are Bugs Eating Your Leaves?

In order to better understand why you may need to cut some of your leaves with holes in them, it is first beneficial to know why buys keep eating them in the first place. The simple answer is that these bugs are eating your leaves because they are hungry. They need food and the leaves from plants are readily available. 

Interestingly enough, certain bugs do tend to eat certain plants in higher numbers. For example, Japanese beetle bugs might eat one type of plant while aphids will go for something entirely different. Reality is that the type of bug does not matter. What matters is that you find ways to keep the bugs away from your plants without harming the plants in the process. 

If you have had success in recent years keeping bugs away from your plants only to start having a problem suddenly, then it is time to think of the possible reasons why. It could be that something in your garden is different. You might have added some different plants that attract bugs that tend to inhabit your region of the country. 

New plants may be attracting the bugs. What you have to do now is to be vigilant to work to keep them away. Follow the suggestions in the following section for a start. Once the bug have been removed from the equation, you should not have to worry about those unsightly holes in the leaves any longer. 

How Can I Stop Bugs from Eating my Leaves?

It can be so frustrating to encounter these holes in your leaves because you rarely even see the bugs that are causing the damage. The question becomes how to deal with something that is not right in front of your face. With a bit of foresight, you can eventually minimize the damage that is caused by bugs eating holes through your leaves. 

One of the best ways to do this is through proper misting. The moister your leaves are, the less likely caterpillars and beetles are to feast on them. For plants, the best way to do this is a misting watering bottle. Focus on the leaves themselves. A gentle mist is all you need. Now is not the time to drown your leaves. 

It is also important to dust off the leaves and clean them quite often. This will minimize the chance that certain bugs will lay eggs on them. That is definitely not something you want to happen, so keeping them clean will give your plant the best shot at a bug free existence. 

If you are really having difficulty keeping bugs away from your plant leaves, then it is time to try a bug spray. Since many people rightfully want to avoid using any chemicals on their precious plants, you can make your own homemade spray by combining the ingredients of neem oil and water. 

Wrap-Up

Knowing how to take care of leaves that have been eaten bugs is just the beginning. You will want to make sure that you properly remove them and then work to keep the bugs at bay in the future. While you will never be able to keep every insect away, the key is to do the best job that you possibly can. 

Sources: 

https://www.greenhomepest.com/blog/post/how-to-stop-bugs-from-eating-your-plants

https://www.saferbrand.com/articles/whats-eating-plants

https://gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/25065/should-damaged-leaves-be-removed

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