What is eating my Daffodil flowers and buds?

What Eats Daffodil? (3 Pests & Ways to Get Rid of Them!)

Slugs and Snails eat Daffodil flowers and buds. Narcissus grubs eat away the Daffodil bulbs. Bulb mites eat the damaged/diseased Daffodil bulbs. Squirrels destroy the Daffodil bulbs and flowers but don’t eat them.

Daffodils give out colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers. Daffodil plants are native to Northern European areas but are grown the world over for their pretty flowers.

Daffodil plants are also commonly called Narcissus and Jonquil.

Daffodils are not only loved by us, they are also loved by a variety of pests. Let’s discuss which pests munch on them and the ways to control such infestations.

What is eating my Daffodil flowers and buds?

Slugs and Snails are the main pests that munch on Daffodil flowers. Slugs and Snails only eat flowers, not the leaves. Squirrels destroy both the flowers and flower buds.

Squirrels don’t eat the flowers and buds, they just destroy them. I’ve seen this happen with my Daffodils(Caught ’em in the surveillance cameras!).

Slugs and Snails eat the flowers at night so it’s hard to catch ’em red-handed. They damage the flowers mostly but sometimes eat the stalks too.

How do I stop slugs eating my Daffodils?

You need to identify a slug infestation early to eliminate them efficiently. Here are a few ways to get rid of them.

  • Frogs & Hedgehogs munch on the slugs, they can be used to control these pests biologically. This technique works the best when slugs are low in number.
  • Some people use Parasitic Nematodes to control slug infestation. This works efficiently but is a costly affair.
  • The best way to get rid of them is by picking them by hand and disposing of them. Drop them in a bucket of soapy water. I’d do this at night as they are nocturnal.

What is eating my Daffodil bulbs?

Narcissus Grub is a pest that eats Daffodil bulbs. Bulb mites also can eat Daffodil bulbs. Bulb mites attack only those bulbs that are diseased/damaged. A variety of Nematodes can also infest bulbs in the Daffodils.

Bulb mites can only munch on bulbs that are already damaged by other pests. Let’s see how you can get rid of these pests.

Narcissus Grub

Narcissus grub is the larval form of the Narcissus fly. The fly lays a single egg under a leaf of the Daffodil plant in the late spring/early summer.

The egg hatches in a few days and the larva finds its way into the bulb. More than one larva can be found in a bulb too, in some cases.

This grub feeds on the bulb and fills it with black excrement. The grub eats the bulb away and overwinters in the bulb.

The larva comes out of the bulb in the summer. This larva pupates in the soil and turns into the Narcissus fly soon.

How to control the Narcissus fly

It is not that easy to control Narcissus flies/larvae as they specifically affect Daffodils. They are well-adapted to the host.

  • Insect nets and sticky, yellow traps can help to control Narcissus fly populations. These control methods also affect bees, so use them in the right season.
  • Get rid of the affected bulbs to prevent a future infestation.
  • Mowing the basal leaves helps to prevent large populations of larvae.
  • Spraying Pyrethrin based insecticides can kill the adult Narcissus flies.
  • Plant varieties that the fly is not habituated to. Overplanting can reduce the damage of the flies too.

Bulb Mites in Daffodils

Bulb Mites only eat those bulbs that were already damaged by other pests/diseases. Bulb mites are tiny, so not visible to the naked eye.

A bulb mite infestation rots the Daffodil bulb. Stunted and distorted new growth is seen in Daffodil plants that are infested.

Infest newly bought bulbs for these mites before you plant them in pots/garden. It is best to prevent the infestation rather than treating it.

How do I get rid of Daffodil bulb mites?

  • An efficient way to control bulb mites on Daffodils is by introducing Cosmolaelaps claviger, a natural predator of bulb mites. Introduce them into the soil and they’ll take care of bulb mites for you.
  • Do not wound the Daffodil bulbs unnecessarily. Wounds on the bulb are an invitation for the bulb mites.
  • Treat all the bulbs you get with a Miticide. This is a great way to make sure you don’t run into an infestation in the future.

Nematode in Daffodils

Ditylenchus dipsaci, a nematode infests the bulbs of Daffodils. Affected Daffodil’s roots become stunted and they eat a hole in the bulb.

They can destroy bulb stock in a couple of years. They move quite slowly but can move great distances via water.

Foliage turns yellow in the affected Daffodil plants. The affected plants don’t produce flowers adequately.

Entire plants go missing in a row of Daffodil plants. This is because of the root damage caused by Nematodes. Plants don’t develop well.

How to get rid of Nematodes that infest Daffodils?

  • Dispose of the plants that have a severe nematode infestation.
  • Sterilize the tools and disinfect the areas where there was an infestation previously.
  • Rotating the bulb crops helps prevent a serious Nematode infestation in Daffodils.
  • Soak clean bulbs in a solution of water and Formalin before you plant them in pots.

What animal is eating my Daffodil flowers?

Slugs and Snails eat Daffodil flowers. Squirrels destroy Daffodil flowers and buds but do not eat them as they are poisonous. As far as I know, no other animal eats Daffodil flowers.

Do Squirrels eat Daffodil buds?

Squirrels do not eat Daffodil buds or flowers. Squirrels don’t like the taste of Daffodil flowers/buds as far as I know.

They do destroy the flowers and buds though, it’s hard to believe but I saw this on my Surveillance footage.

Do Chipmunks eat daffodil bulbs?

Chipmunks do not eat Daffodil bulbs/flowers. They do not like the Daffodil flowers at all. So, don’t blame the Chipmunks.

They might destroy the flowers and buds, just like their sister squirrels.

Do Birds eat Daffodil flowers?

Birds don’t eat Daffodil flowers/buds as far as I know. Birds can sense the poisonous nature of the Daffodil flowers.

Do Deer eat Daffodils?

Deer don’t like to eat Daffodil flowers at all. Deer usually munch on many flowering plants, but Daffodils are toxic to almost all animals.

Deer avoid Daffodils, so you can grow them without the fear of them being eaten by the Deers.

Do Rabbits eat Daffodils?

Rabbits don’t eat Daffodils due to a poisonous substance called lycorine. Rabbits can sense this poisonous substance, thus stay away from them.