Something is eating my sedum again. Last year, the plants made it through the summer pretty unscathed, but this year big chunks are already missing from the leaves.
I have seen ants, teeny tiny black bugs (smaller than a pinhead) and ladybugs on them. I know we have slugs here and there.
My first guess is that the black bugs are aphids. Ladybugs eat aphids, which might explain why I've seen the pretty red bugs around lately. Apparently there are even black sedum aphids (see here). I have aphids on my daylilies, though, and they leave dead brown spots where they've been eating. What's happening now is more like bites are being taken out of the leaves. So my second guess is slugs. Jerks.
My plan of attack (shh! don't tell the pests!) is threefold:
First, I was going to chop the sedum this weekend anyway to prevent them from blooming too early. To attack the aphids, I'm also going to squirt them with some dish soap + water. Finally, I'll make a slug beer trap and leave it out around the plant to see if I catch any of the slimy guys. Wish me luck.