Garden Pests: Four-Lined Plant Bug

Brian loves basil on just about every hot meal. So, when he harvested a few leaves to go with his tamales last week, he brought me a sampling of what he had picked and asked what was up with the spotting he found. Because the spots on the leaves were clear-ish and had circular brown rings, I thought that it could very well be a fungus. Which would be irritating and a bit complicated to overcome. But whenever I did a google search for aphids, a good number of photos appeared that look exactly like the problem we’re having.

Well! I decided to take another look at the plant today in an effort to get to the bottom of it. As I was taking pictures for this post, I actually found the culprit! Apparently, they are pretty adept at hiding despite their coloring so its a wonder that I found him right off the bat: the Four-Lined Plant Bug.

Here he is, being a jerk:

2017-04-30 17.31.09.jpg
Yea, just posing next to all that damage you’ve done.

I did find a few other hangers-on creeping around the leaves. I flicked the bugs that I saw off and applied a nice coat of DE – Diatomaceous Earth with my Pest Pistol! Man, do I love that thing. Its a little accordion, bellows-style dust sprayer. If you work it just right you can get nice, even coating of dust all over the plant.

That four-lined plant bug is about to find out that I don’t take no shit from nobody!

From what I read about the him, he does love Basil and other herbs like mint. I’m unsure that DE will do anything to prevent him from coming back, but we’ll see what happens. I already have an industrial-sized box of it in the shed and its super natural and Earth friendly.


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