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Dahlias & Slugs and Pests

Updated February 21, 2017

Dahlias (Dahlia spp.) are notorious for their ability to attract slugs, which love to feed on the plant's lush foliage. Gardeners who cultivate dahlias must act swiftly to prevent serious damage to dahlias from slugs and other harmful pests.

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Slugs and earwigs are two of the most common dahlia pests. Dahlias are particularly susceptible to slug attacks when they are just emerging from the soil, and are less likely to be bothered by them when they grow to be about a foot tall.


Remove earwigs by spraying an insecticidal spray on the dahlia plant every two weeks or so during the growing season. Slugs either may be removed by hand or killed with slug bait.


Remove potential places for slugs to hide by ridding the garden of overturned pots and plant debris. A healthy plant is less likely to be attacked by pests of all kinds, so follow proper dahlia care requirements.

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About the Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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