What is eating Marigolds

What is eating Marigolds? (9 Common Pests & Solutions)

Slugs and caterpillars are the main pests that eat your marigold. Japanese beetles and grasshoppers also feed on marigolds. Aphids, spider mites, and rabbits, also munch on marigolds.

Marigolds are one of the easiest and most beautiful annuals to grow with Compact yellow to deep orange flowers.

The pungent aroma and taste of marigolds ward off many unwanted pests but they do run into some issues.

There are some pests that like to devour your marigolds. Let’s see how to control pests and animals from eating your marigolds.

Do Slugs eat Marigolds?

Yes, Slugs eat Marigolds at night. Slugs eat holes into Marigold leaves and leave slimy trails behind. They are active at night and hide during daytime.

How to stop slugs from eating Marigolds?

Slugs come out at night and feed on marigolds as they feed on your plant they leave a slime trail on your plant.

  • Handpick the slugs during the night/early in the morning (as they are nocturnal ) and drop them in a bucket of soapy water.
  • You can trap slugs by placing a bowl of beer near your marigold overnight and they’ll gather in that bowl. Throw them in a bucket of soapy water.
  • Place a copper ring around your marigolds so that slugs can’t climb over them.    
  • Add a  2-inch layer of rough mulch(crushed egg shells, wood ashes, and nut hulls ) to prevent slugs.
  • Clean up the leaf debris and keep the ground clean so that slugs don’t have any hiding place.

Do Ants eat Marigolds?

No, ants do not eat your Marigolds. They are attracted to the plant because of the honeydew secreted by aphids 

Ants also carry aphids to new places so that they can get honeydew from aphids.

Why are ants on my Marigolds?

If you see ants on your marigolds, it is a good indication of the presence of aphids.

Ants are attracted to honeydew excreted by the aphids as a result of sucking the plant sap.

Aphids suck the sap of plants as a result the leaves get curled and become yellow and also the plant becomes stunted.

Spider Mites on Marigolds

Spider Mites feed on Marigold leaves. Spider Mites suck plant sap and cause yellow spots on the leaves.

Spider mites build white webs on the leaves and leave white blotches on the leaves. Severe infestation causes yellow spots on the foliage.

  • Spray Neem oil solution on your marigolds to control spider mites.
  • Spray insecticidal soap solution on marigolds.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on marigolds will dehydrate the spider mites and kill them.
  • Soak cotton balls in alcohol and wipe across the foliage of your marigold, let it sit for a few hours, and then rinse the leaves with water thoroughly.

Caterpillars on Marigolds

Caterpillars eat irregular holes into the leaves of Marigold. Some caterpillars hatch into the flowers of Marigolds and devour them from the inside.

Regularly check your Marigold plants for caterpillar presence. Early detection is key to preventing significant damage. Hand-pick the caterpillars you see on Marigolds and throw them into a bucket of soapy water.

How to get rid of Caterpillars on Marigolds?

  1. Natural Predators: Encourage natural predators like ladybugs and birds to your garden; they help keep caterpillar populations in check.
  2. Neem Oil: Apply Neem Oil to deter caterpillars. Dilute it according to the instructions on the label and spray it on the affected Marigold leaves.
  3. Bacillus thuringiensis (BT): Consider using BT, an organic biological insecticide that specifically targets caterpillars. Follow the product instructions for safe application.
  4. Companion Planting: Plant companion herbs like basil and oregano near your Marigolds. Their strong scents can repel caterpillars.
  5. Protective Netting: Cover your Marigold plants with fine mesh or netting to physically prevent caterpillars from reaching them.
  6. Pruning: Trim damaged or infested leaves to reduce caterpillar hiding spots.

Grasshoppers on Marigolds

Grasshoppers eat Marigold leaves. Grasshoppers come into life in the late summer and early fall right when the Marigolds are in full bloom.

Grasshoppers can devour an entire Marigold plant in no time. Grasshoppers feed on both the leaves and flowers of Marigolds.

How to control Grasshoppers on Marigolds?

Follow the instructions below to control Grasshoppers on Marigolds.

  1. Companion Plants: Plant Marigolds alongside herbs like basil and oregano, which naturally repel grasshoppers.
  2. Physical Barriers: Use row covers or mesh netting to create a barrier that prevents Grasshoppers from reaching your Marigolds.
  3. Natural Predators: Attract birds and beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings to your garden, as they can help control grasshopper populations.
  4. Homemade Sprays: Create homemade sprays using garlic or hot pepper solutions to deter grasshoppers from feasting on your Marigolds.
  5. Organic Pest Control: Consider using organic insecticides with neem oil or diatomaceous earth to keep Grasshoppers at bay.

What insect is eating my Marigolds?

Grasshoppers, Caterpillars, and Japanese Beetles eat Marigold plants. Aphids, Spider mites, and Earwigs feed on Marigolds too.

Caterpillars also eat the leaves and flowers of marigolds.

Grasshoppers munch on the marigolds they start eating from the margins of leaves during the daytime.

Japanese beetles also feed on marigold leaves.

How do I keep bugs from eating my Marigolds?

It’s always best to prevent the infestation rather than treat an infected plant.

  • Hang yellow sticky cards around the marigolds to identify insect pests early on.
  • Clear the fallen leaves and other debris around the marigolds this will deprive the pests of their hiding places.
  • Use neem oil spray if you observe any bugs on the Marigold plant.
  • Drench your Marigold with hot pepper and garlic spray.

What animals eat Marigolds?

Rabbits, Rats, Squirrels, and Possums eat Marigold plants. Go out at night to catch some of these nocturnal pests of Marigolds.

Do Rabbits eat Marigolds?

Yes, rabbits munch on marigolds; their presence can be identified by their droppings or by observing the actual rabbits.

Erect a fence around the plants to prevent them from eating your marigolds.

Plant your marigolds in hanging baskets.

You can use rabbit repellent sprays to prevent them from eating your marigolds.

Do Rats eat Marigolds?

Yes, rats sometimes eat marigolds when they don’t have any other plants to eat as they are nocturnal they feed during the night.

You can prevent rat damage by planting them in hanging baskets.

Clean the ground around your garden so that rats don’t have any hiding places.

Do Squirrels eat Marigolds?

Squirrels would try to munch on marigolds when they are in dire need of food 

They may also damage the plant even accidentally while moving around.

Growing your marigolds in hanging baskets prevents damage by squirrels.

Do Possums eat Marigolds? 

Yes, possums sometimes eat marigolds when they don’t have any other food sources.

Plant your marigolds in hanging baskets to prevent the damage of possums.

Do Birds hate Marigolds?

No, birds do not hate marigolds. They don’t necessarily eat marigolds but they are attracted to slugs and caterpillars so they tear up plants in search of them.

The easiest way to protect marigolds from birds is to cover them with nets or grow them in tomato cages.

Do Lizards eat Marigolds?

No, lizards do not feed on marigolds but they feed on insects that feed on marigolds so keep the insects at bay.

So, don’t try to keep lizards away from your plants. They might look like the bad guys but they are not!

Do Earwigs eat Marigolds?

Yes, they eat marigolds but they are more of a friend than a foe as they eat Aphids, Snails, and Slugs. So, don’t spray insecticides on them.

They are just a part of a healthy garden. It only becomes a problem when their populations rise rapidly which rarely happens.

They are considered serious if the damage caused by them is very high.

Clean the debris around the plants so that they don’t have any hiding places.

What is eating my Marigold leaves?

Slugs and caterpillars munch on marigold leaves besides them grasshoppers and Japanese beetles also feed on marigolds.

Rabbits, gophers, squirrels, chipmunks, and rats also feed on your marigold leaves.

You need to look closely at the damage done to the leaves to identify the culprit. For example, slugs leave a slimy trail behind.

What is eating Marigolds at night?

Slugs and rats are the culprits of eating marigolds at night as they are nocturnal.

They only feed during the night and hide during the day. This becomes a problem as it’s hard to find the culprit.

Slug damage can be identified by the presence of slime trails along with the plant.

Go out at night with a torchlight and you will find the pests that are damaging your wonderful Marigolds.

What is eating my Marigold flowers?

Grasshoppers and some types of Caterpillars feed on Marigold flowers. Slugs and Snails eat Marigold flowers at night.

To identify the specific culprit, inspect your marigolds during the evening or early morning when these pests are most active.

Implementing slug traps, natural predators, and organic pest control methods can help protect your marigold flowers from being eaten.

You can spray Neem Oil to get rid of the insects that eat Marigold flowers. Mix 1 ounce with a gallon of water and spray on the affected parts of the Marigold plant.

How to stop Marigolds from being eaten?

You can drench your Marigolds with hot pepper and garlic spray this repels the pests.

Clear the fallen leaves and other debris around your marigolds. This deprives the pests of their hiding places.

By growing your marigolds in hanging baskets you can control slugs and other animals.

Happy Growing 🙂