What is eating Petunias

What is eating Petunias? (11 Culprits & Quick Fixes!)

Tobacco budworms, cutworms, slugs, snails, and rabbits eat the leaves and flowers of Petunias. Aphids and Spider mites may also eat Petunias.

Petunias are grown for their beautiful flowers and they are easy to grow.

Growing petunias can offer long-term color in the summer landscape and brighten dreary borders with lovely pastel colors.

But they could run into some issues. Let’s see what eats your Petunias and how to fix such issues.

Why are there holes in my Petunias?

Budworms feed on bud and blossoms of petunias, bore into them, and cause holes in your Petunia.

You can also identify the presence of Budworms by their excreta around flowers. The caterpillar has a 2-inch long body, greenish-yellow lateral stripes along both sides of the body.

How do you get rid of Petunia caterpillars?

To control Budworms and other caterpillars you can use Bt spray, insecticidal soap, neem oil or diatomaceous earth.

You can also insecticides like Pyrethrins, Spinosad if there is a severe infestation of caterpillars.

How do I keep bugs from eating my Petunias?

To keep bugs away from petunias you can use horticultural oils, neem oil. Make sure you have some natural predators in the garden.

Birds eating my Petunias

Birds may damage your petunias directly by feeding on them or indirectly when they try eating pests on your petunias.

Birds like sparrows and chickens feed on petunias.

To prevent the birds from eating your petunias erect a net around the petunias. Try erecting scarecrows to scare away the birds.

What animal is eating my petunias?

Many animals feed on your petunias like tobacco budworms, cutworms, slugs, snails, rabbits, chickens, squirrels, mice, deer, mules.

Do squirrels eat petunias?

Yes, Squirrels eat the leaves and petals of Petunias. To prevent eating by squirrels erect a net around your Petunias.

Snails eating my Petunias?

Snails can also feed on petunias and leave holes on petunias; damage by snails can be identified by slime trails on the Petunias.

To control snails and slugs wrap the copper tape around pots this prevents snail movements towards your Petunias.

Place containers filled with beer near the ground to attract snails and slugs. Let the snails gather in the container, dispose of them later.

Try scattering eggshells on the soil in petunia beds.

If the infestation is heavy use commercial slug and snail bait, 1 pellet for every 4 inch2 of soil.

Why do my Petunias get aphids?

Aphids are the most common insect pests of a wide variety of plants. Aphids multiply rapidly and spread with the help of ants.

It’s natural for plants to attract insects.  Aphids are most active when the temperature is between 65-80°F.

Aphids are Small insects massed on stem their groups massed on the stem can be removed by a blast of water.

You can also spray soapy water solution to control aphids. Neem oil, insecticidal soaps, diatomaceous earth, and horticultural oils can also be used to control aphids.

What are tiny white bugs on Petunias?

Tiny white bugs on your petunias are called mealy bugs. They can be identified by the cottony growth on their bodies.

They can cause stunted growth of your petunia. You can control them by spraying a soap solution.

Neem oil, insecticidal soaps, diatomaceous earth, and horticultural oils can also be used to control aphids.

What do mites look like on Petunias?

Mites are minute organisms you can see them as small red dots within the webbing under the surface of leaves.

They cause white or yellow specks on the leaves, webbing on plants.

How do you get rid of spider mites on Petunia?

Insecticides like pyrethroids can be used to control mites on petunia. You can also control mites by using neem oil, horticultural oils, and insecticidal soaps.

What is eating my potted Petunia?

It depends on the location of your petunia if it is outside then it could be due to tobacco budworms, cutworms, slugs, snails, rabbits, chickens, squirrels, mice, deer, and mules.

If it is located indoors it could be due to tobacco budworms, cutworms, slugs, snails.

What is eating my Petunias at night?

Bud worms are active at dusk and continue to feed at night. Mice, snails, and slugs can also feed on petunias during the night.

Why do my Petunias feel sticky?

Petunias emit a gooey material on stems as a natural defense mechanism. It is to protect the plant from aphids and mites.

There is nothing we can do about this stickiness of petunias.

Tip: Don’t spray any insecticides when the temperature is 90°F and above. This causes leaf burning.

Homemade bug sprays for Petunias

Below are some recipes to make bug sprays at home. You can keep a check on Petunia bugs using these sprays.

Garlic spray for Petunias

Finely chop six garlic cloves, one large onion, place them in one gallon of hot water, add 1tbsp of dried hot peppers, 1tsp of liquid soap, strain the water, store it in a spray bottle.

Garlic spray can control caterpillars, aphids, flea beetles.

Citrus spray for Petunias

Grate rind from one lemon, add it to 1 pint of boiling water just removed from heat, steep this overnight and strain the water, store it in a spray bottle.

Use these sprays regularly when you have pest problems.

Natural bug sprays for petunias

There are plenty of natural substances available to control pests of your petunias.

Spray Btk/ Bacillus thuringiensis which is available in liquid, dust, granular formulations. Mix 1/2- 4 tsp of the product in one gallon of water. This controls caterpillar pests.

Apply diatomaceous earth to the areas of pest this works by dehydrating the pest.

This is a broad spectrum insecticide which works against soft-bodied pests like caterpillars, slugs, snails, aphids, and thrips.

Neem oil- add 2-4 tbsp in one gallon of water and spray it on petunia. This makes insects like leaf miners, other borer pests stop feeding.

Neem oil is not toxic to mammals. Horticultural oils- add 2-5 tbsp of horticultural oil in one gallon of water and spray on petunias

These oils control spider mites, scales, aphids, leaf miners, fungus gnats.

What to spray on Petunias for bugs?

Ready to use insecticidal soaps are available to mix them with water and spray on bugs

If you are want to use natural substances you can use btk formulation, neem oil, horticultural oils, and Diatomaceous earth.

Can I spray soapy water on Petunias?

Yes, you can spray soapy water on petunias. Spraying soap solution controls aphids, mealy bugs, and mites.

I wish you a pest-free garden 🙂