What pest makes holes in the leaves of plants?

Leaves may have holes from pests

The leaves are usually very tender, as well as palatable, especially to a wide variety of insects and other animals. For this reason, sometimes we come across some holes, something that undoubtedly worries us and draws our attention.

And of course, if we take all this into account, we can get an idea of ​​how urgent it is to apply some treatment so that the problem does not get worse. So if you’d like to know what pest makes holes in the leaves of plants and how to fight itthen we will tell you.

Although animals are usually the ones that most often destroy the leaves, they are not the only ones. It is important to know all the possible causes, since this way we can take the most appropriate measures so that our plant recovers. And these are:

Frosty or snowy

Snow can cause damagesnow can cause damage

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Gzen9

Although it is not something that happens often, In the event that we live in an area where it usually freezes and/or snows, we will have to protect the most delicate plantsas they could end up with badly damaged leaves. And it is that, the slightest thing that could happen to them is precisely that they end up with holes in the leaves, but in the worst case they would end up losing them all.

How do you know if this is what has happened to them? Well it’s easy because the damage appears either on the same day that the frost or snowfall occurred, or on the following day. The leaves can be very damaged, with another color (dark purple or blackish), or even with holes.


As with frost or snowfall, the sun’s rays can also pierce the leaves. This it occurs above all when the magnifying glass effect occurs; that is, when a leaf receives the impact of the sun through a glass or a drop of water. That is why you should never put the plants next to the windows, nor water them from above when they are exposed to the king star.

The damage will be seen very soon. First, a yellowish stain usually appearsbut if exposure to the sun continues, that burn will increase in size, and can become a hole.

Snails and slugs

Snails cause damage to plants

Snails cause damage to plants

These animals are great leaf eaters. After a rainy episode, they come out and go in search of tender plants to feed onand the worst thing is that they don’t care if they have thorns or not. But how can we be sure that they are the ones who have pierced the leaves?

Sometimes they can go unnoticed, but if we see that the plants have the margins of the leaves bitten, and if we see no trace of any pest, the culprits are probably snails and/or slugs. In addition, these animals usually leave remains (excrement) very close, either on the leaves themselves, or next to them. To prevent them from continuing to do damage, they should be used repellents or molluscicides such as this.

Pets (dogs, cats)

Do you live with cats and/or dogs? Then it may be that they are the ones that have bitten your plants. One of my cats, for example, does it with some (palm trees more than anything). And of course, so that he doesn’t destroy them, I have no choice but to take them to a place where he can’t get there, or where he at least has trouble getting there.

The damage, how could it be otherwise, is seen that same day. You may see remnants of those leaves on the ground. But in any case, the animal should not be scolded, because in the end it has done something that is natural to it. What we do have to do is move the plant away from it. Likewise, it is important to avoid buying toxic plants for dogs and cats, because of what could happen.

Larvae, caterpillars, worms

caterpillars pierce the leaves

Caterpillars bore holes in leaves

These are the main enemies of the leaves. What they usually do is feed from the edge inwards; although there are others that break the leaf on one side in order to build a kind of shelter. In any case, we are talking about animals that can be seen with the naked eye; that is, it is very easy to identify them. And if we have problems with it, we will simply have to get a magnifying glass and see if they are.

If we talk about the treatment, we have to apply specific insecticides. In certain cases, we can treat the plant with a triple action insecticide such as this, but in others we will have to opt for more specific ones, such as Cypermethrin, which is very useful against larvae and worms.

As you can see, there are several reasons why a plant can end up with holes in its leaves. We usually think that it is because it has pests, but this is not always the case. It is important to know why you have them like this, and from here, take the necessary measures so that you recover as soon as possible.

What pest makes holes in the leaves of plants?

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