Pests Eating Impatiens & Hostas - Knowledgebase Question

Doylestown, PA
Question by sbwhitehead
August 2, 1998
A creature has eaten all of my white impatiens flowers from dozens of plants within the space of just one day, and I've also noticed entire leaves missing from my hostas nearby in the same bed. I know the problem is not slugs - I've already dealt with that problem earlier this season. What could be the cause of this damage and what can I do about it?


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Answer from NGA
August 2, 1998

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How infuriating! Based on the damage you are describing, I would suspect a four legged animal rather than an insect. Are there deer in your area? If so, I would suspect them. To be sure, you'll need to check outside periodically during the night time hours -- or look for hoof prints. (Another possibility, although a faint one, is a woodchuck.)

Many gardeners report success using the commercially available repellant sprays applied and reapplied according to the label instructions; there are also many home remedies such as soap, human hair, or blood meal sprinkled about the plants. In my experience, though, the only reliable method over time is a fence.

I'm sorry about your plants.

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