University of Florida

Chewing Insect Pests

One way insects can damage plants is with their chewing mouthparts.

Damage from chewing insect pests typically appears on stems or leaves as ragged edges, holes, or other missing tissue. The culprits are often grasshoppers, caterpillars, or beetles.

Eastern lubber grasshoppers feed along leaf edges, leaving a tattered mess in their wake.

Cutworms are nocturnal caterpillars that feed on plant stems, making young seedlings look as if they've been snapped off.

Leaf miner caterpillars burrow inside leaves and create tiny tunnels that are visible on the leaf surface.

If you notice chewing insect pests on larger trees, it's usually not a cause for concern.

Keep an eye out for damage on your other plants, and follow integrated pest management strategies to keep pests in check.

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