I have a little problem in my little flower garden. I have 5 - 6 different
types of flowers in it including Impatiens, New Zealand Impatiens, Begonias
and Vincae(sp?). Everything seems to be doing well, except the Vincae...
The leaves are being *eaten* by something. I'm seeing large chunks and
holes taken out of them. Also some of the petals are being eaten, and
others are popped off at the stem as if they were either sliced off or
ejected off by the plant itself(!?) None of the other flowers are being
The only info I found about vinca-eating insects are aphids, but even they
don't appear to eat large chunks of the leaves and petals? Or do they? I
also saw a large ant crawling on one of the dropped petals. Is it possible
that the ants are eating up these plants? If so, any idea why they wouldn't
attack the others? And what can I do about them?
P.S. - After further investigation I'm seeing giant ants crawling all over
these flowers (haven't seen them actually eat anything yet though) and I
just noticed a strange looking beetle on one of them. The bug is brown and
black with antenna that split into three separate feelers at the end. It's
triangular shaped, like a shield bug, but those antennae are really throwing
me off. If it is a shield bug/stink bug, obviously I have to get rid of it,
but it shouldn't be chewing up my plants -- it should be sucking them dry.
And I haven't found anything to indicate that ants eat vincae either. Does
anyone have any ideas on the best way to get rid of the shield bugs, and how
to figure out what's eating these plants?
I have no idea - the only information I've found (mostly on Univesity
websites) is that vincae only have one insect enemy - aphids. I haven't
seen any on the flowers, and they wouldn't chew the leaves and petals up,
but I went ahead and released some ladybugs into the mix just to be safe.
I'll buy that. I can't seem to find much info on them... do they eat
flowers? Or do they eat other insects or what? I.e., should I kill them on
BTW, the antennae look like this (x2):
Earwigs will eat flowers, leaves & stems from my experience with them.
Can't remember if they have antennae, but the rear end of them has pincers,
almost like crab claws. They are brown/black, long & narrow, about 1/2"
long, squirmy. They like to hide in flower blooms and other crevices. You
can kill them on site and use insecticide. Good luck!
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