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Holes in Hosta Leaves

Holes in hosta leaves are a common sight no matter where you garden. Slugs are the most common culprit, but there are other possibilities.

Start by reviewing the weather.  Frost damage, hail, and even falling maple seeds, many call “helicopters,” can damage these plants.  Monitor the weather and the progression of the damage.  If there are no more holes, it’s most likely one of these.

Sink a can of stale beer in the ground near your hostas or check under rocks and birdbaths in the morning.  If slugs are the culprit, you’ll find them there.  Continue trapping with the beer or try the eco-friendly iron phosphate products that just kill the slugs, but don’t harm people, wildlife and slug predators.

Earwigs are the other possibility.  They prefer cool dark damp conditions like slugs.  Set a crumpled paper out under a pot to trap them.  If present you can live with the damage or try one of the more eco-friendly insecticides.

A bit more information:  Earwigs are not harmful, but can be a nuisance when they find themselves inside your home.  Just vacuum and dispose of these ugly intruders.  Keep them out by sealing cracks and crevices in the foundation.  If this is not working, you may decide to treat the foundation of your home with an insecticide labeled for this purpose.  Just be sure to read and follow all label directions carefully.


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