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something is eating the zinnias and sunflowers

Posted by nohandle 6a swON (My Page) on
Tue, May 30, 06 at 12:44

We just planted a bunch of different kinds of seedlings of various sizes in our new beds. It seems that something is eating the zinnias and sunflowers, but that's it. They are even on different sides of the house from each other. There are notches in the leaf margins, but no holes. Some of the sunflower leaves have been almost completely eaten. However, other than the zinnias and sunflowers, nothing else has been touched.
So, my question is, what eats both these types of plants and starts at the edge of the leaf and moves in. Also, it seems that whatever it is picks the biggest, topmost leaf and works it's way down....very strange, but possibly just a coincidence.
Regardless, can anyone tell me what the usual suspects are?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: something is eating the zinnias and sunflowers

My Zinnias ,bachelor buttons and baby's breath are being devastated by rabbits. Cute, adorable, horrible, savage ,fluffy bunnies.Sigh I don't mind them eating some but when they mow down an entire bed of seedlings ????
I heard spreading blood meal keeps them away so I did that yesterday. Hope it works.


RE: something is eating the zinnias and sunflowers

Actually, I really don't think it's a rabbit. I thought that might be a possibility too, but after looking at them again today I don't think so.
After a few more google searches, I think it might actually be adult June beetles. I don't know much about them other than the grubs have eaten my lawn. They are all over the place in my neighbourhood right now, so it kind of fits. It doesn't explain the sunflower/zinnia pattern, but maybe that's just a coincidence.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?

RE: something is eating the zinnias and sunflowers

my suggestion is to go outside at night with a flashlight. see if they are european earwigs. your sunflower seedling description sounds exactly how mine were devoured last year. they would consume the majority of the leaves before the first pair of true leaves could grow. i had to reseed many times. after that, i was outside nightly with a flashlight and dish-soapy water spray bottle.

good luck!

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