What is eating my Pansies?

What is eating my Pansies? (13 Culprits & Quick Fixes!)

Aphids eat holes into Pansy leaves. Cutworms and various other types of caterpillars also eat Pansies. Spider mites, Whiteflies, Mealybugs, and Flea beetles also eat Pansies. Slugs and Snails eat Pansies too. Deer, Rats, Mice, Squirrels, and Rabbits eat Pansies too.

Pansies are flowering plants derived from Violas. They are grown by many for their beautiful flowers.

Pansy flowers have face-like patterns which are why they are kept. They thrive in both the spring and fall seasons.

Not only do you and I like them, but a variety of pests also love them too. In this article, let’s see what pests eat Pansies and how to get rid of them.

Why do my Pansies have Aphids?

Aphids are the most common insect pests of Pansies. Various species of Aphids can feed on Pansies viz., Pea aphids, Violet aphids, Melon aphids, etc.

Aphids are sap-sucking insects that feed on the leaves of Pansies.

Aphids reproduce so quickly that it’s quite a task to eliminate them. Aphids usually attack Pansies in the spring.

The feeding habits of aphids distort the leaves and discolor them. Yellow spots can be seen on the wilted leaves.

Aphids produce honeydew which attracts ants. Honeydew becomes a habitat for the growth of various fungi, leading to Sooty mold.

Aphids hide in the curled leaves of Pansies. Ideally, you should respond at the earliest signs of aphid infestation.

Do ants eat Pansies?

No, ants don’t eat Pansies. Ants just carry aphids onto Pansies. Aphids produce honeydew which is loved by ants.

This is why they help aphids hurt your Pansies.

How to get rid of Aphids on Pansies?

  • Prune off the affected branches of Pansies to control aphid populations. This works the best in the beginning of infestation.
  • Spray water on the affected branches of Pansies using a water hose to dislodge aphids.
  • Wipe off aphids using a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. This works in the case of small infestation.
  • Spray Neem oil on the affected branches of Pansies to eliminate aphids for good. You may wanna do this once a week for two or three weeks for the best results.
  • Spray Insecticidal soap on the parts of the plant where you see aphids. Choose Insecticidal soap spray only if the infestation is severe.
  • Introduce Lacewings and Ladybugs in the beginning of the spring to counter aphid infestations efficiently.

What Caterpillars eat Pansies?

Cutworms and Omnivorous loopers are the common caterpillars that can be seen devouring Pansies.

Cutworms are the larval forms of moths and are brown in color. Omnivorous loopers come in Green, Pink, and Black with stripes.

One type of caterpillar is so attached to Pansies that it has been identified as Pansyworm. You need to be wary of caterpillars.

These caterpillars feed on the leaves of Pansies. Severe infestation of some types of caterpillars can hinder the growth of Pansies.

Cutworms can cut off the tender stalks of Pansies. Take action as soon as you see even one caterpillar on your Pansies.

How to get rid of Pansyworms?

  • Pick these caterpillars by hand and throw them into a bucket of soapwater. I advise you to wear gloves if you gonna do this.
  • Spray Bacillus thuringiensis on the susceptible Pansies to eliminate caterpillars naturally. Bt won’t hurt pollinator bees at all. Apply it on the plant before caterpillars start feeding.

Spider mites on Pansies

Spider mites feed on the plant sap through the Pansy foliage. Spider mite feeding distorts the leaves and turns them yellow.

Spider mite presence can be confirmed by the tiny webcasts you see around the Pansy buds.

Spider mites are not easily visible to the naked eye, thanks to their tiny size. Yellow spots are seen where they feed on the leaves.

They don’t damage your Pansies greatly. Ideally, you should get rid of them anyway for a healthier plant.

Control spider mites on Pansies

  • Prune off the parts of the Pansies that have spider mites. This works in the initial stages of infestation.
  • Spray Neem oil on the affected branches of Pansies to eliminate spider mites. You may want to spray once a week for 3-4 weeks if the infestation is severe.
  • Spray Insectidal soap on your Pansies if you think the infestation got out of control.

Whiteflies and Mealybugs on Pansies

Whiteflies and Mealybugs are sap-sucking insects that feed on the Pansy foliage. Leaves get distorted and turn yellow in color.

Whiteflies, as their name suggests, are white in color. They feed on the undersides of the leaves.

Mealybugs are related to scale insects but they don’t have the protective outer layer. Mealybugs are also found on the undersides of the leaves and around flower buds.

Mealybugs are seen as tufts of a white, powdery group of insects around flower buds.

Control Mealybugs and Whiteflies on Pansies

  • Hang yellow, sticky cards around Pansies to identify such infestations early on.
  • Wipe Mealybugs and Whiteflies using a cotton swab that’s dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • Spray Neem oil on the affected Pansy branches to eliminate these pests efficiently. Apply several times if needed.
  • Spray Insectidal soap on your Pansies if the Mealybug/Whitefly infestation is severe.

What is eating my Pansies at night?

Slugs and snails eat Pansies at night. They puncture holes into Pansy leaves. Rats also eat Pansies at night.

Slugs and Snails on Pansies

Slugs and Snails are common pests of Pansies that eat holes into Pansy leaves, flowers, and buds. Slugs and Snails leave a slimy trail behind as they feed on Pansies.

Slugs and Snails can eat large holes in the leaves. Moist soil is favorable for snails and slugs as it aids their movement.

These pesky pests can multiply rapidly. They can devour a plant as a whole overnight. They may seem slow but they aren’t.

How to stop Slugs eating my Pansies?

  • Overwatering creates a suitable habitat for snails and slugs, try not to overwater your Pansies.
  • Clear the leaf debris and mulch around susceptible plants as these shelter slugs and snails.
  • Pick them off by hand and throw them into a bucket of soapy water to keep their populations in control.
  • Spread Diatomaceous Earth around your Pansies to prevent slugs and snails from crawling around.
  • Fill a container with beer and place it in the ground so that only an inch of it is above the ground. Let the slugs gather in the container. Dispose of the slugs away from the garden.
  • You can also erect a copper strip around Pansies to keep slugs away from them.
  • Place a cardboard near your Pansies overnight, let the slugs gather below that board. Dispose of them when a lot of these pests gather beneath it.

Flea Beetles on Pansies

Flea Beetles also feed on Pansy leaves, shoots, and flowers. Flea beetles puncture holes into these parts of Pansies.

Flea Beetles are tiny, black, shiny beetles that leave holes in the leaves. Flea beetles attack Pansies in the early spring.

They, like aphids, attack Pansies when there’s still new growth. Adult beetles feed on Pansies jumping from one shoot to another.

Control Flea Beetles on Pansies

  • Identify if there are any alternative hosts near the Pansies and eliminate them. This should be done before spring. Don’t plant Pansies near cucurbit plants.
  • Eliminating nearby weeds helps too.
  • Spray insecticides that contain Carbaryl to eliminate Flea beetles efficiently.

Will animals eat Pansies?

Deer, Rats, Mice, Squirrels, and Rabbits eat Pansies. Birds like crows also damage Pansies if they got nothing else to do.

Do Deer eat Pansies?

Yes, Deer do eat Pansies. Deer can devour an entire Pansy plant if they are hungry enough. They keep coming back.

You may want to erect fencing to protect your Pansies from Deer.

Do Mice eat Pansies?

Yes, Mice do eat Pansies. If these rodents get a taste for it once, they’ll revisit your garden. They are active at night.

Do Chipmunks eat Pansies?

Yes, Chipmunks do eat Pansies. They’ll leave nothing but the stalks if they have enough time to munch.

Do Squirrels eat Pansies?

Yes, Squirrels do eat Pansies. They can damage your Pansies greatly.

Sprinkle cayenne pepper around your Pansies to keep squirrels away. You may also sprinkle this on the Pansy as it doesn’t harm the plant.

If it rained after you apply this, you may want to reapply the spray.

Do Rabbits eat Pansies?

Yes, Rabbits do eat Pansies. Rabbits eat the flowers off the Pansy plants. The stalks are left with a neat cut when rabbits eat them.

You can keep rabbits away by erecting suitable fencing around your Pansies.

Do Birds eat Pansies?

Yes, birds can damage your Pansies. Crows play around with your Pansies and damage Pansies greatly. They just devour the Pansies and throw the remnants around.

What is pulling up my Pansies?

Raccoons pull up Pansy plants in search of grubs or other food. They don’t uproot your Pansy to munch on it.

They are mostly active at night. You can keep them away by spraying cayenne pepper spray on your Pansies.

How do you keep critters from eating pansies?

  • Erecting physical barriers is probably the best way to control critters that damage your Pansies.
  • You can spray cayenne pepper around/on Pansies to keep critters away.
  • Cut blossoms as soon as possible as seeds attract more critters.
  • Plant your prized plants as close to the house as possible.

Happy Growing 🙂