What is Eating My Daffodils? (4 Pests & How to Get Rid of Them!)

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What eats daffodil flowers? Snails and slugs consume daffodil buds and flowers every year while Narcissus grubs eat away the Daffodil bulbs. Bulb mites feed on diseased or damaged Daffodil bulbs while squirrels will destroy the Daffodil bulbs and flowers but never eat them.

Daffodils are beautiful to look at and this trumpet-shaped flower is native to Northern European areas but have been planted all over the world by homeowners and farmers.

Other names for Daffodils plants include Jonquil and Narcissus.

Daffodils are admired by both humans, animals and pests. So, let’s see which pests go on a feeding frenzy once they come encounter them in the wild or in your garden.

What is Eating My Daffodil Flowers and Buds Every time?

Snails and Slugs are the primary pests that will decimate your Daffodil flowers garden. They consume only the flowers, and leave the leaves for insects. Squirrels on the other hand destroy both flower buds and flowers.

Remember, squirrels won’t feed on the buds and flowers, they just find it fun to destroy them. I’ve experienced this in my garden and buy was I pissed!

Slugs, snails and other Mollusca typically feed on your garden at night so it’s difficult to catch them in the act – you see the aftermath of their visitation in the morning.

They cause damage to the flowers, but majorly eat the stalks too.

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What is Eating My Daffodil

How do I Stop Snails and Slugs Eating My Daffodils?

To control these pests, you need to be observant and identify the snails and slug infestation early so you can take the necessary steps to get rid of the problem.

Here are a few happy ways to get rid of pests in your Daffodils garden:

  • Hedgehogs and Frogs love to snack on slugs, so they can be used to control these pests biologically. This technique works the best when the population of the slugs are small.
  • An alternative would be to use Parasitic Nematodes (CHECK ON AMAZON) to control slug infestation. This works efficiently but is a costly affair.
  • Handpicking too is a great option. You get a bowl mixed with salt, and or alcohol and you dispose these things in them.

Dropping them in a bucket of soapy water would do the trick too. I’d do this at night as they are nocturnal.

What is Eating My Daffodil bulbs at Night?

The NARCISSUS Grub is one pesky pest that loves to lay waste to Daffodil bulbs. Bulb mites too will feed on Daffodil bulbs. Bulb mites attack only those bulbs that are damaged or diseased. There are different nematodes that can also infest bulbs in the Daffodils.

Bulb mites can only munch on bulbs that are already damaged by other pests. Let’s see how you can get rid of these pests.

Narcissus Grub

Narcissus grub is the larval form of the Narcissus fly. The adult fly typically lays its eggs under the Daffodil plant leaves in the late spring/early summer.

The egg then hatches in a couple of days and the larvae then moves into the bulb. There could be more than 1 larvae in some cases.

The grubs then slowly feed on the bulb and fills it with black excrement. The grub eats the bulb away and overwinters in the bulb.

The larva comes out of the bulb in the summer. This larva pupates in the soil and turns into the Narcissus fly soon.

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How to control the Narcissus fly

Controlling NARCISSUS larvae/flies is hard since they primarily target Daffodils and have become well-adapted to the host. However, we have tried a couple of methods and have been successful thus far. Here they are:

  • Using insect nets (CHECK ON AMAZON) and sticky, yellow traps will help control & prevent the spread of Narcissus fly numbers. These control methods could also affect honey bees, so only use them in the right season.
  • Spraying Pyrethrin based insecticides (CHECK ON AMAZON) could eliminate adult Narcissus flies too.
  • Get rid of the affected bulbs to prevent a future infestation
  • Mowing the basal leaves aids in the prevention of large larvae populations too
  • Plant varieties that the fly is not habituated to. Overplanting can reduce the damage of the flies too.

Bulb Mites in Daffodils

Bulb Mites only eat those bulbs that were already damaged by other pests/diseases. They’re super small so your eyes may never see them – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

An infestation of bulb mites will rot the Daffodil bulb. Distorted or stunted new growth is seen in Daffodil plants that are already infested.

You should always examine newly acquired bulbs for these mites before you plant them in garden/pots. That way, you would be preventing an infestation rather than treating it.

How do I Get Rid of Daffodil Bulb Mites?

  • By introducing Cosmolaelaps claviger, a natural predator of bulb mites, you can control their numbers. Just add them to the soil and they’d get to work pretty fast.
  • Avoid causing damage to your Daffodil bulbs unnecessarily since bulb wounds are an invitation to bulb mites.
  • Treat all the bulbs you get with a Miticide (CHECK ON AMAZON). This is a great way to make sure you don’t run into an infestation in the future.

Nematode in Daffodils

Ditylenchus dipsaci, a nematode infests the bulbs of Daffodils. The affected plants become stunted and they eat a hole in the bulb.

Nematodes can wreak havoc to bulb stock in a matter of years. They’re slow but can travel large distances through water (rain, flood, splash etc.).

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The foliage of the affected Daffodil plants turns yellow and they’re unable to produce enough flowers too.

Entire plants can be destroyed in a row of Daffodil plants. The severity of root damage caused by Nematodes is typically high making the plants to never develop well.

How to get rid of Nematodes that infest Daffodils?

  • Plants with severe nematode infestation should be burnt
  • You should sterilize the tools and disinfect the areas where an infestation previously occurred.
  • Ensure you’re rotating the bulb crops to help prevent a serious Nematode infestation in Daffodils.
  • Soak clean bulbs in a solution of water and Formalin before you plant them in pots.

what nibbles my daffodil flowers

What Animal Is Eating My Daffodil flowers?

Snails, slugs, and squirrels are some of the animals that eat Daffodil flowers.

ALSO SEE: Can You Eat Cabbage Leaves?

Do Squirrels eat Daffodil buds?

Squirrels never eat Daffodils flowers or buds because the taste is repulsive to them. However, they might destroy the buds and flowers for fun though.

Do Chipmunks eat daffodil bulbs?

Chipmunks do not eat daffodil bulbs neither do they destroy the flowers or bulbs too. However, a mischievous one might destroy the buds and flowers, for fun too.

Do Birds eat Daffodil flowers?

Birds never eat Daffodil flowers/buds as far as I know. Birds can sense the poisonous nature of the Daffodil flowers.

Do Deer eat Daffodils?

Deer don’t like to eat Daffodil flowers at all because they know it is toxic to them.

Deer avoid Daffodils, so you can grow them without the fear of them being eaten by the Deers.

Do Rabbits eat Daffodils?

Rabbits never eat Daffodils because they contain lycrorine – a poisonous substance to them.

What Bugs Eat Daffodil Flowers?

Common daffodil pests or Bugs that eat daffodil flowers include aphid, bulb mite, and thrips.

What’s Nibbling My Daffodils?

Snails and slugs are what’s munching your daffodils. Additionally, aphid, bulb mites and thrips might attack the stalk, leaves and flowers too.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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