If your avocado leaves are getting holey this spring, you are due for a night hunt. Every May and June, I find myself going out after dark and finding the same culprit: June bugs.

Here’s what I do: Grab a flashlight or better yet, a headlamp. Bring along a cup with a lid. Shine the light on the tree’s canopy and . . .

June bug eating avocado leaf

There it is. A June bug eating an avocado leaf.

You’re almost sure to see these guys in the act.

It doesn’t have to be late, just after dark is fine. It’s no big deal if the leaves of a big tree get munched a bit, but a young tree needs as many whole leaves as possible, especially the newly forming ones. So I focus my hunting on young trees.

June bugs eating avocado leaves young tree

Double attack on new growth of a young tree. This is too much!

I place the cup under the leaf and tap the leaf. The bugs drop right in. Cap the cup. Collect some more.

Sometimes I also squish the bugs right there on the leaves. Wearing a glove prevents needing to wash guts off later.

I prefer, however, to collect them because it makes me feel better to use them as treats for my chickens. Watch them enjoy a handful in this little video:

Other insects do leaf damage on avocados. I’ve found earwigs and Fuller rose beetles munching on leaves many times too. But June bugs are the most common and numerous in my experience. Anyway, they’re all collectable or squishable — at night. You won’t find them during the day because they hide under the mulch from sunrise to sunset.

Enjoy the night hunt.

 

You might also like to read my post:

Growing avocados in Southern California