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What is eating my new petunias?

There are possums in the trees above and I've also seen rats on occasions. I've put Ratsak down and sprayed them with Poss Off, then completely covered the area in small holed wire, but every morning there are more and more eaten. I'm at a loss as to what to do when I've spent so much on plants already. Hope you can help me. Many thanks.

Flowers and Ornamentals • Pests

Hi Belinda,

Thank you for sending the photo. It does look like, from the damage on the plant, a more substantial creature than a snail or caterpillar that has caused this. If it were snails, you would see slimy trails left behind. It could be caterpillars as they tend to eat the foliage and leave the stems behind. What was interesting though is that whatever was eating the plants seems to have left some of the foliage behind and I can't imagine a caterpillar would do that. It could also be possums as they love to eat tender, soft foliage but I can't see how they would get through the wire you have put over the basket. I would take a bet on it being caterpillars. There is an excellent product you can use to control these pests. It is called Success Ultra. You will need to spray every 7 days and spray in the early morning or late afternoon. Perhaps you cold try covering the basket with a cloth covering to see if it distracts whatever is eating your petunias. Good luck.
Yates has a wonderful new product available - Yates Possum Repellent Spray helps protect your precious plants by deterring possums from browsing on sprayed plants.
Contains a special combination of ingredients that help reduce possums browsing on plants.
Lasts for up to 7 days or more with regular re-treatment.
Can be used on ornamental and edible plants and has only a 1 day withholding period.
The formulation was developed by Professor Lynne Selwood and is protected by a patent granted to the University of Melbourne.



Answered: 7 Mar, 2012

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