There are many pests and animals that can eat your marigolds. Some pests that eat marigolds are aphids, thrips, and spider mites. Also, there are many insects and animals including slugs and snails that eat marigolds.

Marigold plants are one of the most attractive and simplest annuals to cultivate. Their blooms vary from compact yellow to a rich orange.

Marigolds have a strong smell and taste that drives away a wide variety of unpleasant pests; nevertheless, these flowers do have certain drawbacks.

There are several bugs that will eat your marigolds if they have the chance. Let’s look at some ways to prevent animals and other bugs from eating your marigold plants.

Who eats marigolds
Slug and snailsYes

What is eating my marigold leaves?


Marigold leaves are consumed by slugs, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and Japanese beetles, amongst other insects. Japanese beetles also eat marigolds.

Your marigold leaves are also a food source for gophers, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and rodents.

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To determine who or what is responsible for the harm done to the leaves, you will need to examine them very closely. Slugs, for instance, will leave a slimy trail in their wake. Learn how to care for marigolds

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and Snails are the most likely culprits behind the consumption of the leaves and petals of your marigold plants. These unwanted pests enjoy feeding on the plant.

They create big holes in the leaves of adult marigold plants after feeding on them, and they will consume immature plants in their entirety. Because slugs come out at night, you probably won’t see them munching on your marigolds, but you can see the sticky tracks they leave behind.

  • Wait till dark, then use a flashlight to remove the slugs off the surface. Kill them by submerging them in a bucket of water and soap and allowing them to drown.
  • If you place a bowl of beer near your marigolds overnight, the slugs will collect in the bowl, making it easy for you to catch them. You can then throw them in a bucket of soapy water.
  • Installing a copper ring across your marigolds can prevent slugs from climbing up and over the plants.
  • For further protection against slugs, use a 2-inch layer of rough mulch such as broken wood ashes, egg shells, and nut hulls.
  • Keep your garden clean by removing leaf debris so that the slug does not get any place to hide.

Protect Marigold from Pests


It is possible to protect your marigolds against pests by spraying them with a mixture of hot pepper and garlic.

Ensure that the area surrounding your marigolds is free of dead leaves and any other debris. This eliminates the spots where the pests may hide from view.

You can keep slugs and other creatures away from your marigolds and other plants if you grow them in hanging baskets.

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Aphids are the most common pest of marigolds. They are very few insects that belong to the Aphidoidea superfamily. Marigolds are susceptible to a wide range of damages when aphids are present, including growth that is stunted, leaves that are mottled, slower rates of development, and foliage that is curled. Learn how to get rid of aphids.

How do prevent bugs from eating marigolds?

It is usually preferable to avoid the infection altogether as opposed to treating a plant that already has it.

  • In order to quickly detect any insect pests that may be affecting the marigolds, place yellow sticky cards all around plants. This will trap all the insects.
  • It is important to remove any dead leaves and other debris that may be lying about the marigolds, as this will prevent pests from having any places to hide.
  • If there are any insects on the marigold plant, you should treat it with neem oil.
  • Spray your Marigold plant with spicy pepper and garlic spray until it is completely covered.

What is eating my marigolds at night?

Animals like rats, rabbits, opossums, and squirrels eat marigolds. If you are growing marigolds in the garden. There are chances that these animals will eat your plant. They usually eat marigold leaves and flowers at night. If a whole marigold plant disappears within a night indeed it is an animal. It is hard to catch them as they come at night.

  • You can protect your marigold plants by planting them in a hanging basket.
  • If you’re growing marigolds in the garden, build a fence around the plant to prevent the damage.
  • keep your garden clean from leaves and unnecessary bushes so they do not get a chance to hide.

Why Ants on my marigold?

Ants do not eat marigolds. You might see them around the plant. But, they are friendly to marigold plants. Ants come to the marigold plant in the search of honeydew, which is secreted by aphids. If you see too many ants and marigolds this means there are aphids on the plant.

Do birds eat marigolds?


The birds that visit your yard may be lovely sights to see, but unfortunately, some of them may cause damage to your marigold plants. Crows and robins are some examples of animals that fit this description.

These birds may not necessarily eat the marigolds, but they eat slugs and snails in the garden. Therefore, in order to locate these yummy treats, they break the leaves and blooms apart.

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Covering your marigold plants with netting or planting them inside of a tomato cage is the simplest approach to prevent these birds from eating your plants.

You might also consider making use of a strategy designed to deter birds, such as suspending flashy things like mirrors, ribbons, or CDs in the area around the marigold plants.

The difficulty with such methods is that intelligent birds such as crows and blackbirds get used to them after some time has passed. Therefore, you should continuously change these strategies at different intervals.

Marigold Diseases

Marigolds are not directly consumed by wilt diseases; rather, these illnesses may lead to stunted development and even death. Marigolds are susceptible to the root infection known as verticillium wilt, which is caused by fungi. During the growth season, keep an eye out for plants that are showing signs of withering.

Marigolds that are sick should be dug out, including their roots, and either burned or composted in an aerobic environment. After each use, clean your digging tool by first washing it and then immersing it for two minutes in a solution that contains 10 percent chlorine bleach. Verticillium wilt may be avoided by avoiding herbicides, high-nitrogen fertilizers, wet soil, and digging near marigold plants that are in the process of growing.

Spider mites


Spider mites leave behind white spots on the leaves as well as white webs that they construct on the leaves. When there is a severe infestation, the leaves will develop yellow patches.


  • Your marigolds will be spider mite-free if you treat them with a solution of neem oil.
  • Marigolds should be treated with an insecticide soap solution.
  • The use of diatomaceous earth to marigolds will cause spider mites to get dehydrated and eventually die.
  • After soaking cotton balls in alcohol and wiping them over the foliage of your marigold plant, you should wait a few hours before thoroughly rinsing the leaves in water to remove the alcohol.


There are three possible colors for thrips: green, yellow, and black. Thrips are flying insects. When it comes to attacking the marigold plant, they behave quite similarly to aphids.

The thrips will withdraw the sap from the foliage, which will result in an inadequate supply of nutrients in the leaves. The leaves will ultimately develop a yellowish or brownish tint and then pass away.

The most effective method that I am aware of for getting rid of thrips is to use a combination of insecticidal soap and neem oil. Put one teaspoon of neem oil, half a teaspoon of dish soap, and one quart of clean water into a blender and blend until smooth.

Combine all of the ingredients well, then pour them into a spray bottle. Spray only one of the plant’s leaves, and then wait a full day with it. Check the leaf to see if there is any response to this combination that might be harmful.

After that, you may get rid of the thrips on the marigold plant by spraying the mixture on all of the plant’s sections once every week. Continue repeating this until there are no more thrips on the plant.

Do Deer eat marigold plants?

Marigolds are not often something that they find appealing, although they will munch on the younger seedlings of the plant. Typically, they only eat them at night in order to avoid being distracted by the scent of the blossoms.

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What animal is eating my marigolds? ›

Snails and slugs eat irregular holes in marigold leaves and chew new flower buds before they open. They feed at night and affect the marigold plants at all stages of development. Slug injury is sometimes difficult to diagnose because slugs hide during the day.

What could be eating my marigolds? ›

Slugs and caterpillars are the main pests that eat your marigold. Japanese beetles and grasshoppers also feed on marigolds. Aphids, spider mites, rabbits, also munch on marigolds. Marigolds are one of the easiest and beautiful annuals to grow with Compact yellow to deep orange flowers.

What kind of caterpillar eats marigolds? ›

The caterpillar of the sunflower moth, Homoeosoma electellum, damages the flowers of echinacea, sunflower, marigolds cosmos, coreopsis and other composites (Asteraceae). Newly hatched larvae are pale yellow, but darken to shades of brown or purple with longitudinal white stripes.

How do I stop slugs eating my marigolds? ›

Copper strips.

Place a band of copper (pref- erably 3 inches wide) around beds or individual plants. Or form copper wire into a tight, conical spiral around each plant, with the small end at the bottom, and push the wire into the soil. Make sure slugs are not trapped inside barriers.


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