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I started my Basil from seed and they were doing great, now something is eating them. The plants outside and inside. One insect looks like a nat the other one has feelers out front and is very small and fast. What should I spray them with? Should I use bark around them?

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A

I cannot be certain about which insect may be eating your basil without seeing a sample of the injury, but my best guess is earwigs because this insect is a common pest on basil and many other garden plants.  They feed at night.  You may be able to determine if earwigs are the problem by checking your plants at night with a flashlight.  Earwigs are elongate brown insects with a large pair of pincers on their tail end.  Here is a link to an answer to a frequently asked question about earwig problems on the Utah Pests web page:
http://www.utahpests.usu.edu/htm/faq/faq_q=215

After reading the description of earwig injury you may be able to identify if this is the type of injury that you are seeing.  If you feel that you are having other pest problems, you may want to submit a sample of the injury to your basil to the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory in Logan, UT.  Here is a link to the UPPDL web page with instructions on how to submit a sample:
http://utahpests.usu.edu/uppdl/

Posted on 23 Jun 2008

Diane Alston
Hort-Entomologist Specialist

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