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I had some lovely flowering pansies in a pot, and suddenly during the last week all the flowers have been eaten. There are plenty of woodlice about and my question is would they eat the flowers and what is the best friendly way of getting rid of them other than picking them off one by one (about 60 or more lice). The two pots next to the pansies had new Bellis daisies and again all the flowers have been eaten. I know it isn't slugs or snails causing the damage and anyway surely they would also eat the leaves? Thank you.image Picture from before the attack.



  • I have heard that sparrows will eat the flowers.

  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    GD I was blaming the rabbits for taking the heads of the antirhinums until I saw a mouse doing it and taking the short stalk away. . . . the plants are in a pot.

    SW Scotland
  • ZenjeffZenjeff Newcastle Upon Tyne Posts: 641

    Have you been out at night with a torch GD2 earwigs do a lot of flower damage 

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    i have to disagree with woodlice not being able to eat flowers, i have this problem and have been out at night with a torch and caught loads of them eating the petals, they also eat strawberries (undamaged ones, i've put them in a container with a perfect strawberry and some rotting material and the next day i checked it and they were all over the strawberry eating it image) they obviously  do eat rotting matter but definitely do eat petals too, i have been trying to keep them under control by putting them to work in the compost bin and they are doing a good job of it but when i take the lid of now the compost looks like it's moving as there are now literally thousands in there image not sure if i am making a bigger problem for myself as when i put the compost on the garden i am going to have even more, the only thing i have read to rid them is to put in detritous on the soil which gets in between their shell bits and kills them.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,135

    I also think it may be sparrows - they seem to like yellow flowers especially. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • So we have a few different theories and I have thought of one too.  I have the same Bellis daisies in a different pot at the front of our house, there are no wood lice in the pot and the flowers are still in tact.  The difference is that I have wood chip surrounding the daisies in the front pot but not in the two pots at the back.  I am going to add some wood chip to the two pots later this afternoon and see if this makes a difference over the next week or two. However, I haven't seen any birds, mice, snails or slugs but I will keeping looking and also check at night but I do know that birds like eating my winter pansies and polyanthus flowers.

  • There are different types of woodlice.  So maybe this makes a difference.  I think generally the guidance says they are eat dead matter, but maybe this is too general.  It would explain why some people have no problem with them eating flowers and some do.

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007
    Guernsey Donkey2 says:

      I am going to add some wood chip to the two pots later this afternoon and see if this makes a difference over the next week or two. .

    See original post

     maybe the wood bark chippings are attracting the woodlice as it is essentially dead wood which they love and the flowers are just a nice dessert after they have munched on the woodchips for a bit ?

  • You would think that the woodlice would be attracted to the wood chip, but there are no woodlice in the pot with wood chip on the top surface - so I have added wood chip to the pots where the flowers have been eaten so they are all the same now and I am hoping that the flowers will be able to grow and mature in these attacked pots. Sorry if I muddled you Sanjy67 - I feel quite muddled trying to figure out why some are eaten and others are flowering beautifully.

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