Missing Petals?

I used to have a border of rudbeckia in my wildlife garden. But as in any monoculture, it gradually became a habitat for four lined plant bugs that disfigured the foliage. When other insects started chewing the petals off the bright yellow flowers, I ripped the whole thing out.


Of course a few have self-sown, but because there is no monoculture, and because they are mingling nicely with other plants (if not actually being overtaken by my supposedly dwarf hibiscus syriacus) I don’t have the problem with insects anymore.


Interestingly enough, the insects that eat the flower petals seem to have found a container with some annual daisies in it. Almost as fast as the daisies open, their petals are gone.

Here’s a closer look at the damage.


What’s causing this? In my case, I am sure it is earwigs. They are about the only pest of the numerous possibilities that I know that I have in abundance.

If you are seeing this sort of damage and aren’t sure what might be causing it (and don’t think earwigs are a possibility for you) some other possible causes are the notorious Japanese beetle, or believe it or not, striped or spotted cucumber beetles, which are pests of far more than cucumbers.

I did find a cucumber beetle of the striped variety in my vegetable garden (where I am not growing cucumbers) but 1 beetle is not doing all my damage, surely. I think he ventured over from a neighbor’s yard and probably went right back.

And as for Japanese beetles, this year, I haven’t seen beetles of any kind: not our “June bug” types, nor the asiatic garden beetles or the Japanese beetles. It’s a little odd. (But I am not complaining!)

2 thoughts on “Missing Petals?

  1. tonytomeo July 23, 2019 / 2:54 am

    Many are talking about how bad Japanese beetle is, but they actually see them in action. I would not know, since I have never seen one.

  2. gardendaze July 23, 2019 / 5:43 am

    To be honest, they have never really been a problem for me either. If I have insect pests, I tend to have the asiatic garden beetles and even those I have never really had in great enough numbers to do much damage.

    Truthfully, Japanese beetles are beautiful insects if they’re not voraciously eating
    everything in sight. They make huge (well, by comparison. I am sure those banana slugs of yours can do some damage. There’s something I have never seen! ) holes in foliage, come in great swarms and chew quite hungrily. And then they’re gone–until fall, when their larva start tunneling into our lawns to become next spring’s grubs. They are the bug that keeps on giving.


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