What eats beet greens and chard?

NDGardenerAugust 19, 2011

This is my first year gardening, and I recently looked at my beets and chard after a week (we were on vacation and had someone else watering), and some of the leaves are skeletal! Most of the beet leaves are gone, and it looks like whatever it is is just now starting on the chard. I can't find any bugs on the leaves, even in the evenings. They're basically being munched in between the leaf veins, leaving a skeletal remainder. Any ideas what this pest could be?

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Caterpillars. Keep looking.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 10:18PM
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glib(5.5)

I am unaware of any caterpillars doing that to beta plants. But I have seen rabbits or juvenile groundhogs do that.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 10:33PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

glib, the animals you mention don't typically carefully gnaw the flesh of the foliage, leaving the veins in tact. However, caterpillars will! Our original poster needs to look carefully for the beet armyworm or other such critters, at night with a flashlight.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 7:10AM
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NDGardener

Thanks for the tips! Whatever-it-is has been ignoring my half-grown lettuce in the next row, so I figure it's probably not rabbits. I'll do another search and maybe spray with some water-soap-cayenne mix. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:46AM
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glib(5.5)

You are right, they do a rough skeletonization, leaving the main vein, but if it is a neat job of eating around the veins then it is something else.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 9:34AM
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NDGardener

OK, so I found one bug on my chard. It looks like ladybug larvae, but more orange and a bit shorter. I've been looking at google images for awhile and can't find it! Any ideas?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:27PM
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anamaria2012

My chard is getting eaten all the way to the white vein and can't seem to find anything, How can I stop whatever is eating the chard from eating it? Can I spray something? I prefer organic solutions.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Masbustelo

Check on Leaf Miners.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 4:14AM
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