I’ve never seen this happen before: some critter has eaten all the frilly parts of my carrot leaves leaving just the middle veins of the leaves. Scattered about are what look like mini mouse poops. Anybody have any ideas?

Take a flash light out at one AM. I find a lot of slugs and an occasional caterpillar. I plant lettuce very dense and clip the young leaves, well evidently the slugs love to slither right over munching as they go. Those mini mouse poops are probably just that, mini poops. I have slugs that range from ix inch or more brown tiger striped to itsy bitsy teensy things the size of fingernail clippings, looking like boogers with eye. I scoop them up with the cap of a juice jug, placing them in the jug and when it starts to get gross there is another jug available and I toss the first. It takes about 10 – 20 minutes to make a circuit of the garden and compost heap which can be home to many. At night you will see lots of spiders, earthworms stretching themselves wayyyy out and when you pass the flash light over will jerk back into the earth, really eerie. You will also see some beetles, some of which are good guys. BTW, spiders are usually very good guys, they eat bugs, usually a lot of the ones you don’t want.

I’ve never seen that on carrots! It sounds like some sort of caterpillar, especially since you’re seeing the poop or „frass”. See if you can find any of them on your plants. Bt spray would get rid of them if that’s what the problem is but if it’s anything else, it won’t work. I’m afraid you’re going to have to find the culprit before you know what to use to control it.

When you have a mystery bug hurting plants you can always try spraying with a garlic pepper spray. Simply take the hottest peppers you can find and blend them with fresh garlic. This makes a concentrate. Add this to your normal spray.

A use for those »pretty in purple’ peppers growing on a plant I got from a friend! And to think I just liked the foliage… A question: how long can pepper spray last once it’s made? If I make it this fall, will it last through to next spring when I’ll need it again? (provided I don’t use oil, I guess) Or is there a way to stabilize the peppers so they’ll be able to wait until next spring to have a spray made? Like make the concentrate and freeze it? Or are these really gross questions and I should know the answers already?