Attack of the Worms?

I don’t ever recall having such an infestation of bugs on my basil or my mint. But this year I’m having problems growing these herbs. Seems something layed a ton of black eggs on most of the leaves when I wasn’t watching and they’ve hatched leaving the leaves eaten to a beautiful laceiness.
It’s a little inch-worm type bug, black, maybe a quarter of an inch long with a big appetite.
I trimmed off all of the affected leaves on my mint. The plant is still huge with plenty of leaves left but I have to pluck them daily to keep this pest from destroying it. It’s been so rainy lately that  Neem oil spraying isn’t working as it should.
The basil, however, is mostly gone. I tried to salvage as many leaves as possible, washing them and soaking them in ice water so when I rinse them again I can make pesto. The plant used to be large and full. I was waiting for it to produce a lot so I could get 5 cups of whole leaves for my 3 jars of homemade pesto. I’m not sure how much I’ll get; maybe a half pint.
I’m feeling itchy now; maybe because I’m thinking about the little things or maybe because I’ve got them on me. A friend had written earlier this week that they brought mites in the house after rescuing a nestling in their yard. Ugh. Gotta go hit the shower.
For my pesto recipe check out this old blog entry. I’ve tried it canned (boiled/sealed) and I’ve tried it fresh and in the refrigerator. Even with all those comments from readers and friends who opposed the canning process, I still think it tastes better, stays green and fresh longer and just works for me. So, it’s up to you whether you wish to go through the canning process or not. Enjoy.

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