Is this a Gnat thing? or what is causing this?

Lamora(4)October 18, 2012

Hi, My DH noticed this afternoon that the big green Potho that we inherited has a few leaves w/holes in them. We have a few Gnats here and on the leaves, but will they do this? I tried looking it up, but found nothing but how pesty they were.

I have one other plant that has the same holes and torn looking leaves. I would like to know what this is being caused by and how do I help it stop??

Sorry, I have yet to figure out how to change the size of pictures.. but can someone help me with the plant? Please?

Thanks in advance

Marjie~~ wondering what to do..

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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Gnats arent herbivores so its not those. Fungus gnats, which is what you might mean, tend to feed in damp soil, rather than leaves.
I dont know what pests you get in the states but Id guess a bug of some kind. Please note the word gnat is a nickname for several flies, but the word bug can refer to a particular kind of herbivorous insect.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 5:23AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Over here, the word 'bug ' is used generically, especially by non professionals. 'Bugs' are crawly critters of unknown intent.

The shredded leaf was caused by some sort of physical damage. Can't say for certain about the holes. You should know enough about fungus gnats by now just reading all of the recent posts about them. Fungus gnats or their larvae do not damage leaves. FUNGUS GNAT ADULTS DO NOT FEED ON ANYTHING AT ALL. The larvae, inhabiting the soil, are what you should be worried about.

Do a forum search on 'fungus gnats ' and you'll find several recent conversations right here in the last few days.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:10AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Oops, I meant to remind you that the plant name is Pothos, not Potho. That's singular AND plural, as in, "Lemora has an inherited Pothos" or " I saw several Pothos at the store."

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:17AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Rhizo, the word bug is used like that over here too by the layman, but many dont realise there's actually a distinct class of insect called bugs, order Hemiptera. Shield Bugs are an example, they have hard leaf eating parts but are quite large.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:44AM
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So,adult gnats are just pesty. I haven't looked in the soil yet, it is hung too high for me to get down, will have DH take it down today and have a look/see.

I was reading some about the fungus gnats, I really hope that isn't the case. Have a plan if it is tho...
that still doesn't tell me what could cause the holes tho, I don't see anything else crawling around or just sitting there eating. The torn leaf, she did have a cat and it was within reach, so maybe that was it. If it was, funny we didn't see it before this, maybe the holes were caused by her too then. Our kitten would do that too, just bite it before I introdused him to the squirt bottle~ lol. So maybe.. still strange we didn't notice it before tho.

I have pictures now, will keep an eye out and watch to see if the holes get bigger or more of them. Hope I can find a new place for it now tho, pretty close to my other plants.. just in case..

Marjie~ making a mountain out of a mole hill-- hopefully

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:48AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Could be leafhoppers, but like I say we get different insects to those in the states!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:06AM
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It does look like a physical damage to me too; even the small holes - kitty could have 'smacked' the leaves and punctured little holes here and there; usually easier to see after a while, when edges callus over a bit.
Good idea just to watch & compare to these photos after a while.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:17PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That would not be leafhopper damage. Those little insects have tiny sucking beak-like mouthparts, not capable of chewing holes in leaf tissue.

Whatever has caused the injuries, Marjie, is long gone. It's not recent. If your planning on doing a fungus gnat larvae seach, it's best to look carefully on watering day. The little maggots will squirm to the surface then.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

That looks like the same leaf from this thread, 2nd pic down. Just cut it off if you want.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 3:25PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Heres a thought, have you got cats?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 3:38PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

You said you inherited the plant. Was it damaged when you got it? If so the problem may not be at your house.

I agree that it looks more like physical damage e.g., scratching or tearing, than an insect problem. I would pin it on the kitten if it happened since you got it. Also it looks quite well healed i.e. fairly old. I'd ignore it unless you consider it unsightly. In which case you could remove the damaged leaves.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 4:17PM
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