I have had a terrible time with my basil. I do not see any bugs or slugs. Nothing on the undersides of the leaves BUT there are obvious holes from the center of the leaves as well as bites taken out from the edges. I don't know what to do. I have sprayed the leaves hard with a hose. I have treated with a neem spray. Help. None of my others herbs are being eaten.

What might be doing this and how can I stop it?

  • 3
    Please post some photographs of the affected plants, including a close-up of the damage. Thanks!
    – Niall C.
    Apr 13, 2015 at 20:29
  • Do you have a cat?
    – Escoce
    Apr 13, 2015 at 22:28
  • Have you looked for gastropods at night with a flashlight?
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 13, 2015 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


The most likely are the following two: Japanese beetle loves basil leaves, but they feed during the day, so it should be possible to spot them. Slugs/snails should leave slime trails even if you don't see them, and will require a flashlight at night to confirm if you're not sure.

  • Thank you Bamboo. I have not seen beetles or slug trails. I will look with flashlight tonight though.
    – Amy
    Apr 14, 2015 at 16:51
  • Vine weevil would be a strong candidate here in the UK, but I don't think that's where you are...
    – Bamboo
    Apr 14, 2015 at 16:53

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