Green Worms on Basil
I love fresh basil and I grow it pretty well. However, every year I find these green worm type pest on the leaves. They hardly show because they are exactly the color of the leaves. It seems to me like they actually breed inside and then grow out of the leaves (I know this sounds strange, but it looks like that). It is so easy to miss these critters and toss them in the food and I like to use a lot of basil. Any thoughts?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

The pests you are describing are leaf miners.  They are larvae of tiny flies or moths. The adult insects lay eggs on the plants and the larvae tunnel into the leaves for feeding. Surface sprays don't deter them, because they are safe in their tunnels. You don't want to apply any chemicals that are absorbed by the leaves, because you don't want treated leaves in your pesto. The best defense is good prevention. Discourage the breeding adults with insecticidal soap sprays, and good sanitation. Reduce the hiding places for the adults by keeping leaf litter picked up, and removing infested leaves. You can also screen the basil plants with light-weight floating row cover. Sunlight will get through, but the insects won't.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors
Community Answers (2)

my basil plant does well outside but when i bring it in the leaves turn brown what am i doing wrong?
Submitted by hammond1970