These insect/eggs are there on some leaves of the potted spinach. These seem to be causing holes in leaves as well as curling. How do I get rid of them? Water spray? Neem Oil (Azadiratchin)? Or something else?

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  • The holes look like slug damage; the curling is probably from these insects.
    – Jurp
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:21
  • @Jurp Good catch. Chewing insects eat pieces of leaves. Sucking insects leave damage like the discoloring within the leaves in the black bug (aphids?) domain. Nov 17, 2023 at 14:39
  • Can these be inside the soil?
    – Wodin Tiw
    Nov 22, 2023 at 3:31

1 Answer 1


Soap and water at 5ml per liter is very effective against soft bodied insects. I think the black things in the picture are small caterpillars but they could be insect frass.

Either way soap and water is fast, easy, inexpensive and does not require anything more than a rinse with water for a food plant.

Try and see if the damage stops. If it doesn't check at night for slugs as Jurp suggests.

  • I have cleared all the big leaves and stems. Will the soap water mix affect the potting soil? Should I add vegetable oil? I have a dishwashing bar, I can use that in dilution right?
    – Wodin Tiw
    Nov 18, 2023 at 4:02
  • @Sam no problems with the soil, I use liquid dish soap, the key is very dilute. You don't need much, rinse with water a few minutes after spraying will remove the soap residue
    – kevinskio
    Nov 18, 2023 at 13:48
  • This one is okay right? amazon.com/Vim-Dishwash-Gel-500-Lemon/dp/B00U2DV4AA This is the one available here
    – Wodin Tiw
    Nov 20, 2023 at 7:18
  • @Sam as long as it dissolves in water you are good to go
    – kevinskio
    Nov 20, 2023 at 12:26
  • I sprayed the mixture on the leaves and stems trying to avoid the soil. One somewhat long legged bug did come out in one pot and I killed it.
    – Wodin Tiw
    Nov 21, 2023 at 5:00

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