What is eating my mint plant is a common question to ask when you are worried about your mint leaves being eaten. You may also go further and worry about how you can identify the pests attacking the mint plants, or how does one control these pests, and repair the damage they’ve caused?

What is Eating My Mint Plant 5 Possible Culprits

While mint is an aromatic herb, it is not entirely resistant to the attack of pests, and many of these pests love to get a bite or two out of them. These bites aren’t easily noticeable most time, now, read this article, and you will know the answers. There are a few plants that look like mint, so make sure to properly identify the mint in your garden before applying the following solutions.

Different Pests That Eat Mint Plants

1. Flea Beetles

These bugs are one of the most common pests among herbs and other plants, including spinach, broccoli, eggplants, and many more. One in every two gardens suffers flea beetle attacks during late summer, which is when they appear. Try adding these plants that can repel beetles and keep your garden safe.

– Features

Flea beetles aren’t readily noticeable because they are tiny which is about less than quarter of an inch in size. They have a brownish or blackish look, usually with a faint yellow tint, and some may have spots or stripes.

Flea beetles have large hind legs that enable them to jump like fleas; hence their name. They can do a number on your mint plants if they’re not taken care of or appropriately managed.

– Symptoms and Damage Caused

As you might not be able to see flea beetles except you look closely, look out for tiny clusters of holes, which would typically described as shot holes that are on the leaves of your mint plants.

This is a guarantee sign that you might be dealing with flea beetles. These mint pests devour the leaves of your plants, leaving shot holes that are easy enough for you to detect.

Flea Beetles

Attacking your mint leaves isn’t even the worst flea beetles can do to your plants. They lay eggs, which eventually turn into larvae between May and June and prosper. These larvae can become a real problem when their population increases, as they feed on the rhizomes and roots of your mint plants.

They make holes in your plant’s roots and feed on, live in and develop there till they become adults and repeat the whole cycle continuously, and this way, your plant would degenerate.

When flea beetle infestation has gotten out of hand, you will notice that your plants will start wilting, and if it is the condition gets worse, your plants may eventually die.

– Pest Control Methods

Flea beetles are relatively easy to get rid of. The quickest way to control them is by using Diatomaceous Earth which is DE for short. You can start by pouring the compound at the base of your mint plants and on the surrounding soil.

What this does is that it kills any bugs that come in contact with it and also suffocates and prevents the free movement of flea beetle larvae. Which means that the ones there will be dead in an instant, and others will not even get attracted.

While this method works effectively, you can opt for a cheaper, equally effective method. Many gardeners use neem oil to get rid of flea beetles. You can simply spray the leaves of affected plants lightly with this oil spray.

As another option, you can use plant-safe pesticides obtained from your local gardening store to get rid of flea beetles. All these control methods will work if your flea beetle situation is still in the beginning stages.

2. Spider Mites

The spider mite is another common garden pest. There are several species of these pests; the most common of which is the two-spotted spider mite. 

– Features

These pests are tiny, and they come in a variety of colors, as they would start to reproduce and spread fast, so they can quickly become a problem for your mint plants. They love warm weather and humid conditions, so you will likely notice more of them around April to July, because they would accelerate their growth this medium,

Spider mites live and lay eggs on the underside of plant leaves, particularly young ones. They have a characteristic web-spinning ability, which enables them to create some form of protection from predators.

– Symptoms and Damage Caused

You’re more than likely dealing with spider mites if you spot silky webbing or random dark spots on your mint leaves, as they would be the cause of this issue, because of the way that these pests are fond of eating mint leaves. Their feeding can cause some discoloration in the leaves of your plants.

Spider Mites

Furthermore, you will notice some mint leaves turning brown or yellow at some point, especially if the infestation has gotten really bad, then when the process becomes more intense, you will see the plant degenerate.

If the infestation isn’t controlled early enough, your mint plants will become stunted and eventually die.

– Pest Control Methods

Like with most other plant pests, neem oil can come in handy in getting rid of spider mites. You may start by spraying a solution of neem oil and water on the leaves and stems of the affected plants. However, you should do this at least twice a week for it to be effective.

On the other hand, another form of spider mites pest control method is applying rubbing alcohol to the infected plant. You can use this method when you notice the spider mites early, and they haven’t caused any severe damage. Rubbing the alcohol on the affected areas should do the trick.

Also, you can choose to use insecticides and pesticides made specifically for spider mites control to get rid of them. Insecticidal soaps have also been proven to be very helpful in dealing with spider mites.

3. Cabbage Loopers

Cabbage Loopers can be another mint-eating culprit. These pests are relatively large about one or two inches and can consume large portions of mint leaves at a time. You can easily pick out their smooth, green-colored forms hiding between your mint leaves as they are obvious to spot however, the trick is that they move by curling or looping; hence their name.

– Symptoms and Damage Caused

Cabbage Loopers can cause terrible damage to your mint plants by taking big bites of their leaves and stems, and because these pests are relatively large, the damage is easily noticeable.

If you notice ragged, torn leaves on your mint plants, you need to act quickly, as cabbage Loopers may be the cause, and they can wreck your mint plants within a matter of days, and they are fast in degenerating and eating your whole plant.

Cabbage Loopers

– Pest Control Methods

Cabbage Loopers are relatively easy to control. As a result of their large size, you can easily pick them out if you notice a few of them which is like one or two of them.

After handpicking them, give your mint plant a thorough rinse to ensure no bacteria or other contaminants remain on it. However, when they become more than a few, getting rid of them will require a bit more than handpicking them.

In order for you to get rid of cabbage Loopers, you can use pesticide products containing Bacillus Thuringiensis. This organic compound is most effective in destroying cabbage Loopers.

What’s more, is that it is safe for people and animals, but it is an effective way to get rid of the rest of the pests. Although, if you don’t want to trim down your mint plant, you should probably select another control method, as using Bacillus Thuringiensis will require you to do just that.

Another cabbage Looper control method is using Neem oil spray. This method works on most pests, as Neem oil is a natural pesticide. Need oil spray is easy to apply to mint plants. All you need to do is to spray a solution of water and spread it all over the affected plants. Repeat the process at least twice a week to get fast results.

4. Aphids

Aphids are bothersome pests that can be found in almost every garden at one time or the other. These pests can swiftly wreak some serious havoc on your mint plants, especially if they aren’t controlled early enough.

– Features

They are tiny, soft-bodied, oval, or round-shaped pests that can attack almost any plant, mints included. These pests can be challenging to locate because of their small size, but you will definitely see the effect of their feeding on your plants.

However, remember that there are several types of aphids with varying colors ranging from black, green, red, yellow, and gray to brown. The most common varieties that attack mint plants are usually black or green.

– Symptoms and Damage Caused

Aphids damage mint plants by consuming their leaves to obtain nutrients. This action causes the leaves to become depleted of their nutrients and eventually become discolored.


You will notice your mint leaves turn yellow, begin to curl, and the whole plant can become deformed as a result. If the problem persists, the plant may eventually die.

Additionally, a sooty mold could grow on your plants as a result of the production of honeydew by these pests. Which means that if you notice any of these symptoms, you need to take action quickly to save your mint plants.

– Pest Control Methods

One standard method used to get rid of aphids is hosing down the affected plants with a powerful jet of water. Doing this works well during the early stages of infestation. The spray of water works by pushing off the aphids from the plants. If you do this thoroughly, you will be surprised at how well it works.

On another note, remember that these pests are usually suffocated to death by oils, such as horticultural oils with petroleum ingredients or plant-based oils such as neem or even a home use canola oil. If you’re using neem oil, mix it with a bit of soap and water in a spray bottle before applying it all over the affected plants.

You can also get rid of these annoying pests using homemade pepper spray. All you need to do is combine some peppermint, thyme, water, and cloves in a spray bottle and spray the contents all over the affected mint plants. Make sure you get the undersides of your mint leaves, as a result you won’t have to leave any larvae or eggs behind.

5. Cutworms

These annoying worm-like pests are usually found in the soil. They come out to feed on the stems of mint plants. They’re called Cutworms because they literally cut through the parts of the plant they feed on. Many types of worms may visit your garden, some of them are beneficial and some aren’t.

Mint plants are fragile, so cutworms are especially harmful to them. Cutworms are typically inactive in the daytime and mostly come out to feed at night. You will be more likely to spot them at the base of your plants during late evenings or at night.

– Symptoms and Damage Caused

If you notice plants or seedlings that have been cut along their stems, you might very well be dealing with cutworms. These worm-like pests make cuts and burrow holes in mint plants, completely damaging the plant in very little time.


They form clusters at the base of plants and come out to feed, often in the evenings. As a result to this, if you notice small worm-like insects at the base of your plants, start thinking about doing some damage control so that they won’t take over your plant instead.

– Pest Control Methods

Cutworms are easy to manage and control, which means you can take your time to handpick and discard them properly. A little soap and water mixture is very effective in killing them.

If handpicking is taking too much of your time, you can apply some Diatomaceous Earth to the base of your plants. What this does is it will help dry out the insects once they come into contact with it. This way, you can destroy cutworms without doing so much work.

Additionally, you can choose to use plant-safe pesticides that have bacillus thuringiensis in them. It’s best to apply this pesticide in the afternoon when the cutworms are inactive and not in the morning when they are thriving in the sun.


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