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6 Pests That Could Be Eating Your Zinnias

What's Eating My Zinnas

There’s nothing more beautiful than having a garden of healthily groomed Zinnias with gorgeous blossoms and green leaves.

The sight is simply mind-blowing and exceedingly rewarding for its owner. Nevertheless, it becomes heartbreaking when pests start to eat the leaves.

If you have a garden, and you notice the foliage is not as healthy as they were, you might be wondering what could be eating your Zinnias.

For starters, many pests want your Zinnias as much as you do. Don’t be surprised when they start feeding on them.

For this reason, this article will help you to figure out what pests could be eating your precious plants. Also, there will be control methods provided to help you get rid of them.

What’s Eating Your Zinnias?

1. Rabbits

If you have rabbits as pets, you will be amazed to know these sturdy animals with whiskers are the ones eating your Zinnias.

Although most research proves that rabbits don’t like Zinnias, they may still munch on the plant for the fun of it. Moreover, bunnies that are still experimenting with taste may eat the plants.

The interesting fact is: it’s not difficult to identify them as the culprit because they are very greedy. When Rabbits feed on the leaves, they eat all or a significant portion of them.

That means you may wake up one day and discover that only the stem of your plant is left behind.

Moreover, they often leave behind some of their droppings when they are done snacking on the leaves. If you see any of these signs, rabbits are definitely the ones feeding on your Zinnias.

How To Control Them

If you have rabbits as pets, always keep them away from your Zinnias. You can apply powdered fox urine or blood meal around the foliage to repel rabbits from the plant.

2. Slugs

Did you notice the damage done to the leaves during spring or summer? Are there ragged openings chewed across the veins of the leaves?

If your answer is yes, slugs are the pests eating your Zinnias. Typically, Slugs are lousy chewers-they don’t eat neatly.

Also, you will find the damage done to your leaves in the morning because slugs mainly feed when it is dark.

How To Control Them

Pick out slugs as soon as you notice them. Also, use electric copper barriers around your Zinnias to keep them away from your plant.

Additionally, organic pellets containing ferric phosphate are effective slug repellant. Pour diatomaceous earth on the soil near the Zinnias plant.

Diatomaceous earth tears the slugs apart as they crawl on it.

3. Japanese Beetle

Japanese Beetles could be the insect that eats your Zinnias. How can you identify them? Plant owners that are not familiar with insect pests may be unable to identify the Japanese Beetle as the culprit. Usually, these insects are present in summer.

They ravage the foliage, remaining only skeleton-like leaves. Moreover, they often bore holes into the flowers of the Zinnias. If you find a metallic green insect with cooper brown wings, feeding on your Zinnias, that is most likely a Japanese Beetle.

How To Control Them

Spray Zinnias with neem oil to control Japenese Beetles. Neem oil can help to reduce the rate at which they feed on the plants.

Moreover, it prevents Japanese beetles that have consumed the oil from laying eggs that hatch. Spray neem oil in the evening to avoid leaf burns during the day.

4. European Earwig

From summer to fall, Earwigs like to have a share of the juicy Zinnias. If you have Zinnias planted in your garden, both the leaves and flowers are susceptible to attack from Earwigs. Usually, they bore tiny holes into the Zinnias leaves and flowers.

Additionally, they feed mostly at night. Earwigs are easily identifiable with their long reddish-brown bodies with two short and sharp forceps.

How To Control Them

You can set traps for earwigs by placing shallow bowls of vegetable oil under the infested plant. Pour alcohol or soapy water over trapped earwigs to kill them.

Also, you can spray insecticides with imidacloprid on infested plants to kill the earwigs.

5. Aphids

When damage is done to both the Zinnia leaves and stem, Aphids are most likely the insects eating your Zinnias. These sap-sucking insects love to suck the juice from the Zinnias plant by boring holes into the leaves and stems.

The holes bores are usually visible enough to notice the damage done to the plant.

How To Control Them

Use natural predators such as parasitic wasps to keep away aphids from your Zinnias.

This method works because the female parasitic wasps use Aphids as hosts to lay their eggs. After the eggs hatch, they feed on the body of the Aphids.

Also, remove Aphids from zinnia leaves by spraying them heavily with water. Do the spraying early in the morning to allow the water to dry early and prevent mildew. Also, destroy the attacked plant to prevent the aphids from spreading.

6. Diseases Pathogens

It’s easy to conclude that pests are responsible for eating your Zinnias. On the contrary, Pathogens, just like pests, can cause damage to the plant. Here’s the interesting part: the symptoms of plant eaten by pests is similar to symptoms of plants attacked by pathogens.

For example, an attack by bacteria is manifested by wet spots with yellow borders on the stem, blooms, and leaves of the Zinnias.

These spots become brown or dark gray and wither, leaving holes in the leaves. A plant owner that merely notices the hole can quickly conclude that the holes were bored by an insect.

Likewise, fungal infections are manifested by large, round spots on the leaves of the zinnias. Sometimes the spots are rectangular with a reddish-brown or purple color. Just like bacterial leaf spot, when they become gray, they wither leaving holes in the leaves.

At this point, what is most important is to understand the symptoms of pests and pathogens. This is crucial because it is necessary to identify what is attacking your Zinnias before trying to control it.

How To Control Them

Destroy infected plant. Make sure not to compost them; otherwise, you run at a risk of infecting other susceptible plants with the pathogens.

To prevent fungal diseases, wet your plant only in the morning so the leaves can dry before nightfall.


Always pay close attention to your Zinnias so that you can detect as soon as pests start to eat your Zinnias. That way, it won’t be difficult to identify the pest eating your Zinnias.

Furthermore, that makes it easier to control and prevent the pest or pathogen from evoking more damage. Finally, always use less toxic pesticides to minimize the harm done to your Zinnias and insects beneficial to your plant.