What Is Eating My Begonias?

Begonias are bright and beautiful and exist in over 1000 different forms! They add an effortless vibrancy to gardens worldwide, and they’re easy to care for too. Or at least, they’re supposed to be. 

Though Begonias become slightly trickier to look after when garden pests are involved, and unfortunately, there are several common animals and insects for whom Begonias are just another meal. 

So just, who exactly are these hungry creatures, and more importantly, how can they be stopped?! I’ve covered it all below. 

So, what is eating my Begonias? Deer, rats, rabbits, squirrels, voles, groundhogs, aphids, mealybugs, snails, slugs, whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, fungus gnats, and caterpillars are some of the most common predators of Begonias.  

Below, you’ll find information and context pertaining to the relationship between Begonias and each of these species. And then, we will be looking at how to best respond!

What Is Eating My Begonia Flowers?

Begonias are commonly eaten by a range of animals and insects, let’s take a look at some of the main culprits:


Deer don’t tend to discriminate when it comes to what they’ll eat.

It’s not that every plant out there is its idea of an ideal feast, but they’ll eat whatever they can get for fuel. Begonias included.

They’ll eat both the poor plant’s flowerheads and leathery leaves without a second thought. 


Our little rodent friends are big fans of Begonias too.

Much like deer, it’s not that they actively seek them out. Rather, once they stumble upon them, they’ll happily eat them.

And they’ll eat them somewhat relentlessly.

Not the petals nor the leaves, and sometimes not even the stem will be safe.

Given that rats are notoriously voracious eaters, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise. 


Aphids love plants, and therefore aphids love Begonias!

They love them so much that they feed on their cells, sucking out the nutritious sap that they need to thrive.

Whilst one or two aphids don’t pose much of a problem, a large number of them is certainly to be taken seriously.

A full-blown aphid invasion makes it all the more likely that they’ll be able to inflict a considerable degree of damage.

Two tell-tale signs of an aphid invasion are discolored leaves and wilting plants. If you spot either of these symptoms, alarm bells should be ringing. 


Mealybugs operate in a similar manner to aphids.

Their method of attack is the same in that they feed on the plant juices of the Begonia, as well as many other plants.

They also don’t pose much risk unless they’re in high numbers. However, they look completely different from aphids.

They’re white waxy little things with oval-shaped bodies, whilst aphids are more pear-shaped, sometimes have wings, and are either brown, green, red, black, or yellow in color. 


Before they evolve into butterflies and moths, caterpillars pose a significant threat to Begonia plants.

Their nocturnal nature means that they’ll munch on the Begonias at night time, so you’re unlikely to catch them in the act.

However, they leave behind holes, primarily in the leaves of your Begonia, allowing you to catch wind of their presence.

Caterpillars devour plants surprisingly quickly, so you’ll want to act quickly if you suspect an infestation.  

How Do I Stop My Begonia Flowers From Being Eaten?

You’re in luck! It is very much possible to salvage your Begonias. Below, I’ve shared a few effective methods that you may find useful. 

By Hand

Many gardeners opt to pick bugs off their Begonias by hand.

Doing so allows for a thoroughness that so many other removal methods do not.

Simply put on a pair of gardening gloves, pick off any bugs that you spot, and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

However, it’s important to note that many bugs, such as caterpillars, are nocturnal.

Thus, you’ll only be able to pick them off your Begonias after hours, without natural daylight, when it’s just that much more tricky to do so.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way! 

With Water

If you have an aphid invasion on your hands, pick up your hosepipe!

The best way to remove aphids from your Begonias is to hose them right off it.

The water stream should be powerful and steady enough to do so, but you’ll also want to ensure that you don’t harm your Begonias in the process.

However, whilst water is, of course, the most natural pest control measure around, younger Begonias may not be able to withstand such a high water pressure.

In this case, adjust your spray setting accordingly. 

Neem Oil

Neem oil is another eco-friendly, clean way to terminate any insect that dares step foot on your Begonias.

Simply rub the oil all over the Begonia, and as soon as the insects wander onto it, they’ll quickly become inundated in oil.

As a result, they’ll suffocate. Gardeners have been using this method for hundreds of years for a reason – it works! 

You can pick up some of the best Neem Oil around on Amazon.


If you prefer, you could always pop over to your local garden store and pick up a bottle of insecticide.

If you can find one, definitely opt for the non-toxic variety.

The reason is chemical insecticides are toxic not just to the unwanted creatures on your Begonia but to the environment as a whole.

In particular, if you have pets or animals running around, it’s best not to use them. 

Scent Deterrents

Scent deterrents are a great way to deter animals from your Begonias.

By placing smells that animals and insects dislike near your Begonias, it’s likely that you’ll scare them away.

To deter deer, try rosemary and lavender scents. To repel rats, peppermint will do the trick.

And if your Begonias are the victims of insect attacks, citronella should work. 

Physical Barriers

If you have deer or rats in the vicinity of your garden, it might be a good idea to put up fences around your Begonias.

A fence just a few feet high has the power to turn animals away in pursuit of much more accessible prey. 

How Do I Get My Begonias To Flower Again?

It’s clear that Begonias are not exempt from their fair share of challenges.

Even so, they remain pretty resilient. That’s why by following the general guidance below, you’re sure to keep your Begonias happy and healthy. 

Optimize Growing Conditions

First off, it’s crucial that Begonias are planted in the best possible conditions for their growth.

Their soil should be light and well-drained, and they should be kept in partial shade so as to avoid the risk of their foliage burning in intense sunlight. 

Implement Pest Control

Once you’ve planted your Begonias, you ought to start thinking about pest control right away.

Prevention trumps cure, after all.

The proactive application of neem oil or the installation of a fence may well save you and your Begonias some hardship down the road.

And even if pests have already invaded, take action as soon as possible to limit the harm inflicted. 


Finally, fertilizing and pruning are key to the healthy flowering of Begonias.

Opt for a slow-release fertilizer, and apply it fortnightly during their flowering season, from Springtime onwards.

Prune, Prune, Prune

It’s at this point that you should commence pruning too.

Begonias grow considerably during flower season and often can become overgrown and much too busy. When you spot this, prune away! 

It’s as simple as that! With the right care in place, your Begonias are sure to thrive.

You may want to check out my other guides while you are here: