Natural Pesticide - Knowledgebase Question

Chardon, OH
Avatar for marc37
Question by marc37
October 18, 1999
I planted some zinnias and 50% of them were eaten by some unknown bug that takes big bites. Looked everywhere but couldn't find the critters (grasshoppers?). It concintrated its appitite mostly on the leaves before the flower buds appeared. It also ate the surrounding plants (hostas) but stayed away from the holloyhocks. Could you recommend a natural pesticide? Tried cayenne (dusted and sprayed) but it didn't help.

Answer from NGA
October 18, 1999
Based on your description I am not sure what ate your plants, but it is possible you had a slug problem. Their favorite foods include hostas and tender baby annuals and they eat big bites. They eat at night so you never see them, but you do see shimmery "slime trails" sometimes. You can try a barrier of diatomaceous earth spread around the plants or you can try trapping them with saucers of stale beer or the commercially available traps. They are attracted to damp spots so avoid watering at night, too. I hope this helps!

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