Everytime we put our basil plants outside, something starts to eat the leaves. This is what one of the leaves looks like, do you guys know what it could be? IT seems to happen within only hours of them being outside, and they are potted plants.


  • 1
    bets money on earwigs... You need to go out at night with a flashlight to see what's going on
    – kevinskio
    Jul 3, 2015 at 0:43
  • I have the most trouble with slugs on basil, but the eating pattern looks less like that, so kevin's probably right - in any case, the flashlight tells all (or the night-vision all-weather camera tells all, these days ;-) )
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 4, 2015 at 14:19
  • This is slug work...look at the right leaf. The shiny slime trails...also eating from the outside edge inwards. Go out at night with a flashlight and a pair of scissors. Slugs are exposed and you can (ugh) kill them by cutting them in half. Do this for a couple of nights per week and this WILL get them in control! Use of bait, beer doesn't work nearly as well!
    – stormy
    Jul 7, 2015 at 23:10
  • Sluggo works quite well to get rid of slugs and snails. And it is OMRI rated.
    – That Idiot
    Jul 9, 2015 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


I have had slugs do damage like that. The best thing I ever did was get some Diatomaceous earth, sprinkle it around the base of the plants, the slug won't go near it. Apparently the earth scratches their soft slimy bodies. The stuff is completely organic and available cheap.

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    Must be slugs. I planted basil a couple of days ago and the next morning there was a big trail from my basil plants to my compost bin (in which I know they 'sleep'). They looked exactly like this: eaten and slimey.
    – GolezTrol
    Jul 13, 2015 at 18:59

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