What Animals Eat Hostas: Watch Out for These Pests in the Garden

Hosta is a perennial plant that is sure to be an excellent addition to the garden. It has an attractive foliage that allows it to add character to a space. They have large leaves that are bursting with colors. It is also easy to grow as it can thrive well both in sunny and shady areas.

While hosta is a tough plant, there are some things that can give you a headache, especially pests. There are animals that aggressively eat the plant, causing physical damages. It can lead to visible holes, large streaks, and ragged edges, among other signs of infestation.

What animals eat hostas? If you are interested to know, keep on reading and we’ll let you know some of the creatures that you should keep an eye on. As a bonus, we’ll also share with you some of the most effective tips to keep these animals out of the garden.

Deer

This is one of the most common preys that can eat your hosta plant. Because of their large size, it will not take long before they can devour the plant and cause significant damage. The fragrance of the plant is one of the reasons why a deer finds it attractive and easy to detect. They can make hostas their late evening snack, shocking you the morning after because of the serious damages that they can cause.

Deer Eating Hostas

If you live in an area with a lot of deer, one of the best solutions to consider is to construct a high-security fence to keep the pest out of your property. If this is too much for you, another solution is to apply deer deterrent spray on the plant or use a deer repellent. This will result in an unpleasant flavor that will prevent the deer from totally destroying the hosta. When resorting to this solution, be sure to spray every now and then since it is not waterproof.

Rabbits

This is another animal that will make hostas their snack and can wreak serious damages before you even know it. Most of the rabbits will eat hosta when they are still young as they love the tender shoots of the plant. They can also eat the flowers. Most of the infestation from rabbits are common in spring. In the later seasons, they are not much of a problem.

One of the best ways to get rid of rabbits in your hosta plants is to construct wire fencing, which will clearly mark your territory. It will also help to mow the lawn frequently since rabbits prefer to hide in tall grass, making it difficult for you to spot them. Spraying cayenne pepper on the foliage will also help to deter rabbits since they hate the smell and flavor of the latter.

Voles

Unlike other animals that will feed on the foliage of the hosta plants, voles will cause damages underneath. They will burrow the soil and devour the fibrous roots, especially during the winter months. This will restrict the flow of nutrients to the plant and can even lead to stunting. The voles can leave teeth marks on the roots and can make the root ball smaller than what is necessary for the survival of the plant. The plant may still live but you will notice that there is a significant reduction in its size.

You need to provide the roots with appropriate protection to keep the voles away. One thing that you can do is to use fabric and wire enclosure to keep the voles away. Because of this, the animal will no longer burrow underneath.

Squirrels

While this is not as serious as the other pests that are mentioned in this post, it can still be a problem for hostas, especially during the dry season. They will chew not only the leaves, but gnaw even the roots. Like voles, this can restrict the growth of the plant, resulting in having a size that is smaller than the normal.

Squirrels Eating Hostas

Using fences and cages, such as one made from metal mesh, is one of the solutions to keep the squirrels out of the garden. Also, because squirrels end up digging the roots, it will be beneficial to have hardware mesh under the soil to prevent damages to the roots.

Snails and Slugs

These are nocturnal pests that can also cause significant damage to your hosta plants. Because they are active at night, they can be more difficult to control. You might end up being surprised when you wake up in the morning to see their infestation. They can cause the appearance of round holes on the healthy leaves of the plant. If there are thinner leaves, the hosta will be more susceptible to damage.

Natural control is one of the ways to deal with snails and slugs. You can handpick them at night with a little help from a source of light so that you can easily see the pests. As an alternative, a shallow dish with beer will also be an excellent trap. Lastly, there are traps with chemicals that you can purchase. You should be careful with this as they can contain chemicals that are toxic to beneficial pests and the environment in general.

Hosta Leaf Damaged by Snails

Now that you are done reading, we hope that you already know what animals eat hostas. Keep an eye on these animals to be sure that your plant will grow in a manner that is healthy and will not suffer from physical damages. In terms of control, on the other hand, it is better to deal with the problem in a natural manner instead of opting to use toxic chemicals.

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