Why Does My Arugula Have Holes in It?

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Why Does My Arugula Have Holes in It?

Gardening doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you find parts of your garden suffering from disease or insect infestations.

Arugula is one notably easy plant to incorporate in your vegetable garden. Unfortunately, it’s not guaranteed to be protected from a range of diseases and pests that render it unappetizing.

Perhaps you noticed some holes, and now you’re wondering why your arugula has holes in it. Beyond that, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it.

We’ll investigate the answer to that question in this article, as well as help you find the solution.

Quick Answer: Why Does My Arugula Have Holes in It?


The holes in your arugula’s leaves almost certainly come from garden pests. However, the exact culprit varies depending on the size of the holes.

Flea beetles commonly cause small, needle-sized holes in the leaves. Caterpillars and slugs will eat large holes with uneven edges that look like chew marks, as well as cause the edges of leaves to curl.

Related Article: Why Does Arugula Turn Yellow?

Common Arugula Pests

Arugula is vulnerable to a few pests. In fact, it used to be called “eruca” in ancient Roman times, which is the Latin word for caterpillar. It was named after these insects because of its vulnerability to them.

Caterpillars remain one of the biggest threats to gardens containing arugula to this day. At their worst, they can reduce arugula leaves to nothing more than stems.

Related Article: Does Arugula Like Full Sun?

Several species of flea beetle will also chew holes in the leaves of your arugula. They may eat the roots of the plant, but the most frequent sign of their infestation is small holes dotting the leaves.

In some southern climates, crickets can be another problem in gardens with arugula. They especially love to lay their eggs in the damp soil.

Leafminers are insects that, like their namesake, will form tunnels in the leaves over the course of their lifespan. In the beginning, these tunnels might look like holes.

Read Also: Is Arugula Rucola?

What You Can Do to Protect your Arugula from Pests Humanely

Now that you’ve learned about some of the pests that can pose a threat to your arugula, you’re most likely curious about what you can do to safeguard your garden from them. Just because there are various pests in your garden, though, doesn’t mean you’re looking to cause any harm.

One humane way to deal with pests is to incorporate decoy plants in your garden. Radish, for example, can draw bugs away from the arugula.

Related Article: Does Arugula Need Fertilizer?

Another natural method you can use is growing plants that are attractive for beneficial bugs. As an illustration, marigolds can attract wasps, which prey on other insects and may deter pests.

Making sure your garden isn’t hospitable to pests will be another good defense. If you’ve determined a certain kind of bug is eating your arugula, learn about it and what it needs to thrive. For instance, if you determine crickets are laying eggs in the damp soil, choose a well-draining soil so it doesn’t stay soggy for long.

Covering your arugula with cloth can also shield your plants from beetles.

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Wrap Up

"With a little planning, you can safely enjoy your arugula the entire growing season."

Arugula is a delicious and easy plant to grow. However, like many other garden plants, it’s vulnerable to a number of insects that can make it unappetizing or even completely inedible in the worst cases.

The good news is there are steps you can take to help protect your arugula from these pests. With a little planning, you can safely enjoy your arugula the entire growing season.