Holes in Arugula Leaves: Reasons and Solutions

Arugula is a delicious leafy green that is often used in salads. However, if you have noticed that your arugula has been developing holes, there may be a reason for it. In this blog post, we will discuss the possible causes of holes in arugula leaves and how to solve the problem.

Why Are There Holes in My Arugula Leaves?

The most likely cause of holes in your arugula leaves is pests, with the most common pests being flea beetles, aphids, and caterpillars. These pests love eating arugula and can cause a lot of damage to your plants. If you see any of these pests on your arugula, be sure to remove them as soon as possible.

Flea beetles are small black beetles that jump when disturbed. They feed on the underside of the leaves, causing them to develop small holes. Aphids are tiny green insects that suck the sap out of the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and eventually die. Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies, and they can cause extensive damage to a plant by eating the leaves.

You may not even know that these pests are present on your arugula until you see the damage they’ve done. If you suspect that pests are the cause of holes in your arugula leaves, be sure to check for them regularly and remove them as soon as possible.

How to Treat Arugula Leaves with Holes?

To stop any further damage, it is important to treat your arugula plants as soon as you notice the holes. The best way to do this is to use an insecticide that will remove the pests from your plants and prevent them from coming back. Be sure to follow the instructions on the insecticide carefully, as using too much can be harmful to your plants.

My favorite method of pest control is to use neem oil (Amazon link), which is a natural insecticide made from the neem tree. Neem oil works by suffocating the pests, and it is safe to use on edible plants like arugula. You can also use other methods of pest control, such as traps or hand-picking the pests off of your plants.

To use neem oil, mix it with water according to the instructions on the bottle and spray it onto your arugula plants. Be sure to cover the undersides of the leaves, as this is where the pests are most likely to be hiding. Apply neem oil every few days until you no longer see any pests on your plants.

How to Keep Pests Away From Arugula Leaves?

You don’t want the pests making a return, so it is important to take preventive measures to keep them away from your arugula plants. The best way to do this is to maintain a clean garden and get rid of any potential hiding places for the pests.

Remove any dead leaves or debris from around your arugula plants, as this is where pests like to hide. Keep your garden free of weeds, as they can provide a place for pests to hide and lay their eggs.

You can also use row covers to keep pests away from your plants. They are made of a lightweight fabric that covers the plants and prevents pests from getting to them. Simply place the row cover over your arugula plants and secure it at the base.

Finally, keep an eye out for signs of pests and act quickly if you see any. By taking these preventive measures, you can keep your arugula plants healthy and free of holes.

What Else Causes Holes in Arugula Leaves?

It’s not just the pests that can cause holes in arugula leaves. There are a few other potential causes, such as disease and weather damage.


If your arugula plants are infected with a disease, it can cause the leaves to develop holes. The most common diseases that affect arugula are downy mildew and powdery mildew. These diseases cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually die.

Use a fungicide to treat your plants if you think they have a disease. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fungicide carefully, as using too much can be harmful to your plants. Neem oil is also effective at treating fungal diseases.

Weather Damage

Harsh weather conditions can also cause holes in arugula leaves. If the temperature gets too hot or cold, it can damage the leaves and cause them to develop holes. High winds can also damage the leaves, causing them to tear and develop holes.

To prevent weather damage, be sure to water your arugula plants regularly. Water helps the plants stay cool in hot weather and prevents the leaves from drying out and developing holes. In cold weather, you can use a frost blanket to protect your plants.


Another potential cause of holes in arugula leaves is animals. Birds, rabbits, and other animals can eat the leaves of your plants, causing holes to develop. To prevent this from happening, you can use a fence or netting to keep the animals away from your plants.

As you can see, there are a few different reasons why arugula leaves can develop holes. By taking preventive measures and treating the problem quickly, you can keep your plants healthy and free of holes.

Should I Prune Arugula Leaves with Holes?

The only time I recommend pruning arugula leaves is if they are diseased or damaged beyond repair. If the holes in your leaves are caused by pests, there is no need to prune them. The leaves will eventually grow back and the pests will be gone.

If you are going to prune your arugula leaves, use sharp shears to cut off the affected leaves. Be sure to dispose of the leaves properly, as they can spread disease to other plants.

Pruning arugula leaves is a personal preference. If you don’t want to prune the leaves, you can simply wait for them to grow back. Either way, your plants will eventually recover from the holes and be healthy again.


Holes in arugula leaves are usually caused by pests, but they can also be caused by disease, weather damage, or animals. To prevent holes from developing, take preventive measures such as maintaining a clean garden and using row covers.

Neem oil is a natural fungicide and pesticide that deals with the two main causes of holes in arugula leaves: pests and disease.

I hope this article has helped you understand the causes of holes in arugula leaves and how to prevent them. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

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