The Q&A Archives: Seedling Leaves Eaten

Question: I have seedling transplants under grow lights in my cellar and something is eating the seedling's leaves off, leaving only the stems. There are no prints in the soil or any telltale deposits to identify the culprit. Whatever it is ate all the zinnias and a few of the tomatoes. I don't know if it is an insect or a small rodent. Could I possibly spray the seedlings with an insecticide to eliminate the pest without harming the seedlings? Please help before I start new seeds.

Answer: I have a feeling the culprit is a mouse (or two...or three...) This is a fairly common, and exasperating, problem. The critters can destroy an awful lot of seedlings in one night. <br><br>I'd set out some mouse traps, and wait until you catch (all) the culprits before starting any more seeds. I wouldn't bother trying to spray the seedlings.

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