Is anyone else having problem with pests too?

RG100June 8, 2009

I dont know if it is the cold weather or what - but I am finding that insect activity is really strong this year. They chewed out all the rose leaves and with a lot of spraying these roses are back on their feet now. Yesterday I also notice that they are on the petunias and have chewed a lot of the trailing petunia leaves.

I have never had this problem before. What can I do? Is this common?


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

What are the 'they' that's doing the damage? Knowing just what you're dealing with makes prevention AND control a lot easier.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 11:41AM
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I am not sure what it is that is eating the rose leaves - can never see them. I dedheaded a few petunias and there were a lot of tiny green flies at the base of the flower. I sprayed with End all and Bug X. Not sure if this will be enough.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 1:29PM
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omniphasic(9 Ca)

You can always bring samples in to your local garden center and they can do pest IDs and other things...I have noticed an abundance of Earwigs and Katydids this year.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 2:42PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

I've had hundreds of slugs this year. Go out at night with a flashlight, especially after a rain, and look over your plants' leaves. They seem to love zinnias and marigolds (sigh).

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Do you have Japanese Beetles up there? Those are munching away on our roses down here in North Carolina right now. They come every June, so I cut all the blooms off the roses and spray the foliage with a mix of Neem Oil, water and a biodegradeable dish liquid. They still do some damage and the leaves look lacy after a big day of JB partying.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 7:35PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

My zinnias and dahlias, and to a lesser extent, my chinese asters, are almost completely eaten away. Some of my dahlias are little, chewed, half-inch nubs sticking out of the ground. Between whatever bug this is, and the constant rain (which means no sun and therefore no heat) my garden is well on it's way to being a bust this year.

"...Go out at night with a flashlight, especially after a rain, and look over your plants' leaves..."

I can't. I'm afraid, lol. I don't like the garden at night, lol!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 7:15AM
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nygardener You are so right. They are after the zinnias and the marigolds. And they go more crazy after rain. I went out yesterday and saw that 2 of my plants were completely eaten. I thought that marigolds are pretty foolproof - but even they are not spared.
The zinnias are really struggling this year. I guess they need heat - which we have'nt had.
Also I tried the polar bear zinnia. Quite a dissappointment. Flowers are so small and not very nice looking. Hopefully things will get better as we get into the real summer.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 11:16AM
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farmingvillefarmer(East Coast zone 7)

Zinnias are a bust, petunias are hanging in there so far and my impatience are about half way dead. The problem is there hasnt been ANY sun in about a month and ive had hundreds of slugs. Time to start planning for next year.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 6:58PM
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Not only am I having problems with pests, but groundhogs are eating everything in sight. I've also got bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks and snails. Collectively, they've decimated petunias, ageratum, flowering kale, dianthus, dahlias, cleome, campanula, veronica & balloon flower. This is the first year since I've lived here that I've had any of these problems. I'm wondering if everything is being eaten because plants are so small and puny due to lack of sunshine/warmth. I know critters like young tender plants.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:20PM
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Something is munching on my impatiens, too. My petunias don't look too bad, but my impatiens are quite the snack for something. I'm hoping I can find some seeds on them before they're all gone.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:22PM
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monkeymamaof4(ne 5)

We had 2 weeks of rain upon rain and cool temps. Then last week we were around 100 + with heat indexes and 90 % humidity, and then rain each night at least an inch a night. Finally this week we are on to regular temps and less rain. My poor plants are so water logged and the amount of slugs and other pests is crazy.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 12:02AM
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I have a very religious garden this year - everything is holey. Neat, round little holes in the leaves.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 9:14AM
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I have managed to eradicate slugs from my yard. It took about 20 years but I have no more and if they decide to come back I will wage war again.

My theory is get them in the spring before they have time to breed. I used slug bait, and I used it often, about every week. When we could only get the chemical one, I put it in small containers--slug hotels as I called them.

I used small flat plastic containers. I cut a slit in the lid and top of the container so they could crawl in, baited it and dampened it and inverted it so the lid was on the bottom and set them where the slugs were. I never saw a slug in them but I saw less and less damage. The beauty of this is the bait is safe from kids and pets. I still set some out first thing in the spring--just in case.

I am now waging the same war on earwigs

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 9:16AM
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oilpainter ~~ wow ~ i am very impressed; so now i want to know what you are using for your war on earwigs ~

i have tried everything and the population does not seem to be going down at all! ~ i am doing better in the slug department (sluggo) ~ yesterday i tried to track down sluggoplus; which is supposed to be for slugs & earwigs; but couldn't find it ~ a nearby feedstore promised to check up on it & call me ~

thanks in advance, phyl

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 1:14PM
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I was using earwig bait but I switched to a recipe I got from this site somewhere.
1 tablespoon each of soy sauce, oil, and molasses. Put it in a small yogurt cup or some such container and mix well--it takes some mixing because the oil and soy sauce don't want to mix. Bury it to the neck and prop the lid so it doesn't get diluted with rain.
According to the poster after a few days to ripen she came out and the cup was full of dead earwigs. Mine has only been in a day so I don't know if it works or not.

I can see how it might work. They would be attracted to the sweet molasses. Once they crawled in the they wouldn't be able to get out with the oil in there and soy sauce is loaded with salt that would kill them.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 3:08PM
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My container garden is covered with aphids this year!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 9:34PM
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If you don't want to use an insecticide on your aphids, you might want to try the Bug Blaster to "blast" the aphids off of your plants, using plain water from your hose. Hidden Valley Hibiscus has had good results using the Bug Blaster on their fancy hibiscus plants. I plan to get one. We had an outbreak of aphids on one of my tomato plants and I didn't want to spray any insecticides on stuff I would be eating.

Those aphids are mostly gone now, partly because I pinched lots of them, but I plan to get a Bug Blaster to help keep my plants clean and free of insects. I haven't decided yet whether to buy just the nozzle from Bug Blaster and find a 48-inch watering wand locally, or to buy the combination of wand and special nozzle from


    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 2:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

LOL, spoken like a real TV pitchman, ZEN.

Are you promoting this product without even trying it first? Are you selling it via one of the HVH private home parties?

Be careful, this appears to be the worst kind of spam.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 2:46PM
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"Are you promoting this product without even trying it first?"

Your implication that I am promoting the product is false. And I never said I tried it first. Deb mentioned that her container garden was covered with aphids, and I suggested that she might want to try the Bug Blaster. It was just a suggestion and not a promotion.

"Are you selling it via one of the HVH private home parties?"

Your implication that I am selling something is false. Your implication that I am associated with Hidden Valley Hibiscus is also false. I am in no way associated with Hidden Valley Hibiscus and I am in no way associated with Bug Blaster. I don't know anything about any HVH private home parties. And I am not selling anything.

"Be careful, this appears to be the worst kind of spam."

I am not doing any kind of spam. I was merely bringing a water spraying device to the attention of Deb that I thought she might not be aware of, and that she might possibly be interested in. I was merely providing information and I was not trying to make a sale. I don't stand to benefit in any way from this. I was merely trying to do a good deed by taking the time and effort to supply links that might be relevant and interesting to Deb.

Perhaps you were also attempting to do a good deed by jumping in to protect Deb from the big bad TV pitchman. But to me, your false implications come off as mean spirited and this feels like another instance of "No good deed shall go unpunished."


    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 1:19AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I apologize, ZM. It just struck me so funny (as in ha-ha). I guess I've been watching too many shill-meisters on TV.

Anyway, I really DID mean the warning to you....I didn't want you to get into trouble. Not that you were promoting something, but that it SOUNDED like you were.

I wonder if my hat will taste better if I marinate it?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 3:55PM
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Apology accepted. I should have asserted that I wasn't associated in any way with Bug Blaster or Hidden Valley Hibiscus in my original message. I'll eat half of the hat.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 12:09AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Because of the major rains we got in our area this year, the bugs are really abundant. A few I see, some I don't. I still am not sure what is eating some of my leaves on ornamentals or nibbling my sage. On one hand, I'd rather have a lot of rain than heat and drought.....but my gardens are suffering, holes and big bites out of almost everything except ferns!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 1:42PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Slugs and earwigs have been especially bad this year. Believe the cooler temps and all the rain are to blame. On the flip side, haven't yet seen a single rose chaffer, and only one or two (literally) Jap. beetles.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 7:52PM
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tambo747(5 Canada)

Well after an insane war on lily beetles, slugs and aphids, I decided to rip out about 20 asiatic lilies early this evening and dumped them in the garbage. Sad, yes, because they are one of my favs, but I couldn't deal with the aggrevation I felt EVERY night, spraying, picking, squishing, hunting, etc. Gardening is supposed to bring me pleasure and there are many other gorgeous plants out there to replace the lilies. Cold and LOTS of rain I am sure is the problem.
OT: I was listening to the radio when the announcer said to her collegue: "hey there was a solar eclipse in Asia last night" to which her collegue replied, "big deal, we've had one all summer." That pretty much sums up our weather!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 8:13PM
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