Something has been nipping away at my kale leaves. These are growing in a raised bed and I don't see any snails around. I have also covered up the bed with a net to keep away squirrels to the extent I can but they may be getting in. Any ideas or other pests that may be enjoying my kale?enter image description here enter image description here

  • have you gone out at night with a flashlight and looked under the leaves? My experience with gastropods (slugs/snails) is that they are more easily spotted at night. Some other leaf-eaters are also nocturnal, but may be faster moving.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 6, 2016 at 15:48
  • I've heard that ash will help fight things eating your plants. May 6, 2016 at 16:14
  • my suspicion is that it is a squirrel. Will ash help against those?
    – JStorage
    May 13, 2016 at 17:25
  • Just checking out these other answers and this is not being done by slugs/snails. This is almost for sure rabbits, possibly rats. Rabbits are omnivores, but mostly vegans. Rats go for the highest in calories whatever and where ever they find. So damage on eggplants, tomatoes, peppers...not the leaves. Voles will eat bulbs and vascular systems beneath the bark. Gophers as well, but they like grubs. Moles, they pretty much eat only grubs. Ash is useless. Diatomaceous earth is like broken glass and helps with slugs and snails. Cutworms will be few and you'll find them at night.
    – stormy
    Aug 30, 2016 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


That looks like caterpillar damage to me. You can sometimes spot and remove the caterpillars at night, or else a spray with Bt (Safer brand "caterpillar spray") is a safe and organic way to kill them.

  • What do you mean by spray with Bt? Where can I find the caterpillars during the day? they must be somewhere close by?
    – JStorage
    May 6, 2016 at 20:09
  • Bacillus thuringiensis is bt May 6, 2016 at 20:24
  • Bt: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacillus_thuringiensis Buy a spray with Bt in it, mix it with water per the label, and spray. It usually only takes one dose for me. One common brand of Bt is called Safer Caterpillar Killer: saferbrand.com/store/outdoor-insect/5163
    – llemay
    May 8, 2016 at 21:26
  • @ilemay is it possible the kale is being eaten by squirrels? i saw one running around the other day and because I have a net around my kale, they may be nibbling at the kale
    – JStorage
    May 13, 2016 at 17:25

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