Bugs on Zinnias - Knowledgebase Question

Cranberry Township, PA
Avatar for rlenard
Question by rlenard
May 29, 1998
Please help, I've just planted zinnias and something is eating them. At first I thought it was a rabbit but I notice the leaves are eaten in the center. I've sprayed bug spray on them but it hasn't seemed to help. Some of them are gone completely stems and all. I noticed this on some of my vinca's also. Someone told me to plant marigolds around the garden and this would keep the rabbits out, but some of the marigolds are eaten too.

Answer from NGA
May 29, 1998
Based on your description it's difficult to make a definite identification of your pest, but it is very possible the culprit is slugs. If the problem is slugs, you will see little slime trails near the plants. (Since slugs work at night, you won't see the slugs themselves.)

Slugs can be controlled by handpicking at night (use barbecue tongs if you are squeamish and drop them into a pail of soapy water), home-made or store-bought beer traps(they fall in and drown), and by using commercial slug poison baits according to label instructions. Be very careful if you use the baits as they can be dangerous to children, pets and wildlife.

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