Begonias are beautiful flowers that are easy to grow, but you may notice that something is eating at them and destroying them. Common animals that will eat begonias include rabbits, deer, squirrels, rats, voles and groundhogs.
This article will explore the most common animals that could be eating your begonias during the day and night and ways to protect your plants.
What Animals Like Eating Begonias?
There are numerous animals that actually enjoy eating begonias, and this includes the following animals:
Rabbits won’t go out in search of begonias like other animals do, but they have been known to eat begonia plants. If you erect fencing around your begonias, this will keep most of them away.
While not super-common, deer will eat begonias if they are hungry and can’t find anything else to eat. You can use a deer repellent if you like to keep them away from your flowers.
Begonias aren’t a squirrel’s favorite plant to eat, but if they get hungry enough they’ll eat them anyway. They will even dig up begonia bulbs from the ground and eat them if they are hungry and cannot find anything else to eat.
You can place cayenne pepper, peppermint oil, or garlic on top of the soil to keep them away from your flowers.
Rats love to destroy begonias and will even get to the begonias that are in pots. They can be very destructive, but if you sprinkle some garlic, thyme, or basil in your garden, that is usually enough to keep the rats away.
Voles eat begonias as well as many other plants, including daylilies, daisies, cone flowers, and caladium bulbs, to name a few. The best way to get rid of them is by planting things they don’t like, such as trout lilies, grape hyacinths, snowdrops, salvia, daffodils, or irises.
With the exception of wax begonias, which groundhogs tend to avoid, groundhogs do eat other types of begonias. If you mix up garlic and pepper and throw that into the burrows of the groundhogs, that will prevent them from coming back for your begonias, but you’ll have to do this regularly.
Chipmunks prefer eating the tender parts of the begonia plant. They usually eat begonias when there’s nothing else around for them to eat.
Like other animals, you can erect a fence around your begonias to keep the chipmunks at bay.
Chickens can eat your begonias, and one of the best ways to keep them away is to build some fencing around your begonia plants. And don’t worry – the plants aren’t toxic to the chickens.
Lizards sometimes get into your begonia plants, and they can be difficult to see because not all of them are large.
To get rid of them, you can sprinkle some garlic and onion in the soil so the smell keeps them away, or even spray them with a homemade pepper spray using Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper.
Turtles aren’t frequently found around begonias, but they do sometimes feed on them. You won’t want to kill them if you see them in your garden. Instead, call an exterminator or relocate them yourself using gloved hands.
Bugs that Eat Begonias
Below are some of the many bugs and pests that eat begonias, as well as natural ways to get rid of them:
1. Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails eat your begonias at night, so you’ll notice the damage in the morning. The easiest way to get rid of them is to dig a hole in the soil and place a small dish of beer in the opening.
The slugs and snails will fall into the beer, become intoxicated, and won’t be able to get out of the container.
Mealybugs look like a wad of cotton and suck the sap out of the begonia leaves, which causes honeydew to form. To get rid of mealybugs, spray the entire plants with water once or twice a week.
While the plants are damp, it is impossible for the mealybugs to climb them again, so they stay away.
Aphids are tiny bugs and love eating the stems and leaves of begonia plants. If you wish to get rid of them, just spray an insecticidal soap on the affected branches of the plants or spray the plant with Neem oil.
If you notice tiny round holes in your begonia leaves, you might have an earwig problem. One of the best ways to get rid of earwigs is to rub petroleum jelly on the leaves of your begonias. This will stop them from climbing on the plant and doing their damage.
5. Scale Insects
Scale insects are oval-shaped bugs and they like to attach themselves to the leaves of the begonia plants and suck the sap out of them.
To get rid of them, introduce either parasitic wasps or lady beetles into the soil and they will eliminate the insects.
Whiteflies are small white insects that can fly, and they can usually be found on the lower sides of the leaves.
They will suck the sap out of the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and eventually die. Get rid of them by either setting up yellow sticky traps or by spraying them with an insecticidal soap solution.
Check out this video for more on how to care for begonias.
7. Spider Mites
These bugs can create small webs just like spiders do, and that’s how most people notice they’re there. If you see yellow spots on the leaves of your begonias, you might have a spider mite problem.
You can get rid of them with insecticidal soap or by introducing western predatory mites or lacewings into your begonia plants.
Caterpillars love begonias, and they usually eat them both at night and in the morning. The best thing to do when caterpillars try to destroy your begonia plants is to put gloves on and pluck them off the plants. You can then drop them in a bucket filled with soapy water, which kills them.
If there are too many of them, you can use some insecticidal soap on the plants instead.
Begonias are popular plants with both people and animals. You can get rid of both the bugs and the animals that love the plants with numerous natural methods, which are amongst the best ways to do this.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.