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Insect-Eating-Hibiscus-Leaves-THUMB.jpg

Insect Eating Hibiscus Leaves

I have two beautiful hibiscus plants that boast gorgeous blossoms every year. Every year, however, something eats the leaves, leaving them with a lacey appearance. Is there anything I can do?

Hibiscus is one of the favorite foods for Japanese beetles. You can’t miss these metallic green beetles that eat and breed in broad daylight. Many gardeners in beetle infested regions have learned to appreciate the artwork of these voracious feeders. They refer to the damage as beetle lace knowing the healthy plants will survive the damage. Reduce the population and damage by knocking the beetles off the plant into a can of soapy water. If you see the damage but no insects it is time to break out the flashlight. A few night feeding caterpillars or slugs can also cause this damage. Hand picking is usually enough for small populations of caterpillars. Beer bait or the environmentally friendly iron phosphate slug baits such as Sluggo and Slug Magic will take care of the slugs.

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