something's eating my flowers! - Knowledgebase Question

boston, Ma
Question by secarboston
July 8, 2010
My shasta daisy and zinnia flowers are being eaten by something. The foliage is fine. What to do? Thanks!


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Answer from NGA
July 8, 2010

0

If only the flower petals are being bothered, I'd guess that earwigs are the culprits. Earwigs generally feed on organic debris and other insects. Unless the population is large and there's lots of competition for food, they won't usually feed on live plants. They do like to hide in moist, dark places, however, and that may be why you're finding their damage on your flowers. There are two ways to control the earwigs: Put about a half-inch of water in an empty cat food or tuna can and float a tablespoon of oil on top. Place the can beneath your plants. Earwigs will be attracted to the residue in the can, crawl in, get coated with oil and drown. Or, roll a few newspaper tubes, moisten them, and place them in the garden in the early evening. Earwigs are mostly active at night and look for a moist, dark place to hide during the day. They'll crawl into the tubes in the early morning. Collect and dispose of the newspaper tubes each morning and eventually you'll lower the earwig population in your garden.

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