What is Eating My Aster Leaves?: Pest Control!

Your normal healthy-looking asters now have holes in the leaves, and a few appear to be dying. What is eating my aster leaves, and how do you stop these insects and animals?

What is eating my aster leaves: Insects that Like to Eat Aster

what is eating my aster leaves

The list of insects that love eating aster leaves include the following:

  • Chrysanthemum Lace Bugs
  • Thrips
  • Soft Scale
  • Leaf Miners
  • Caterpillars
  • Leafhoppers

Chrysanthemum Lace Bugs

Commonly afflicting chrysanthemums and asters, these small creatures can be found on the underside of your aster plants and feed off the sap, eventually turning them yellow and then brown.


A sign of a thrip infestation is small black marks on the leaves, which are actually the droppings of the insect. Stippled blossoms and leaves indicate the presence of thrips as well.

Soft Scales

what is eating my aster leaves

Scale, or otherwise known as coccid scale is a common pest and attack aster leaves through the sap. It makes your plants yellow, wither and affect their growth. Gray mold and sticky substances coating the stem and leaf undersides indicate a scale infestation.

Leaf Miners

Usually invisible to the naked eye, you’ll notice your aster leaves having a white curving or zigzag pattern.


Caterpillars eat juicy and young leaves and can quickly go through an entire plant. You’ll usually spot them at the top of the plant and moving about.


A true and persistent garden pest, leafhoppers can cause massive damage not only to the leaves of your aster plant, but to its overall health as well. They’re difficult to catch or eliminate as they can escape swiftly or fly away.

How to Treat Aster For Insects


Insecticidal soap is one of the best solutions on how you can treat your aster plants. If possible, choose an organic product and follow directions as stated on the label. Do this on early mornings or evenings and every week or so depending on the level of infestation.

Neem oil is the preferred natural insecticide of choice as it doesn’t affect beneficial insects and animals.

Whenever you see leaf miner larvae on the leaves, scale or leafhoppers you should immediately apply neem oil as instructed on the bottle. It’s recommended that you apply on a dry day so the oil stays on the leaves longer.

Natural Remedies

Keeping your aster plants healthy and disease-free is paramount if you want to avoid insects. Tidy up dead leaves and stems by regular pruning, and make sure your aster has well-draining soil.

Too much water and moisture can invite fungi and bacteria, which usually leads to pests and irreversible damage.

Animals that Like to Eat Aster

Generally speaking, you’ll only need to worry about two animals that might feed on aster leaves and flowers:

  • Deer
  • Rabbits

What Animals are the most likely to Eat Aster?


Asters are not deer-resistant, and if they’re in the way of a grazing herd your plants might get decimated.


Small and furry, these cute animals love snacking on aster as it’s a significant source of nutrients for them.

How to Stop Animals from Eating Aster

To try and prevent further damage to your plants, you should do a close inspection. Rabbits produce clean, 45 degree cuts on the lower stems and branches, while deer will chew on leaves, stems and flowers. If the cuts are ragged then it’s likely a deer.

You can try to deter animals from your aster leaves in a number of ways, including home-made repellents or buying commercial products that can turn deer and rabbits away.

Alternatively, you can try to install fencing or plants that they don’t like, including herbs such as rosemary.

A good natural remedy is to keep rabbits out by not giving them any hiding places. Keep your garden or yard tidy and free of unwanted debris- clear out fallen twigs and branches, as well as garbage and weeds.

A neat landscape also makes it easier to spot them and shoo them away.

What is eating my aster leaves: Final thoughts

If the problem persists you can try growing aster plants in containers so you can bring them inside when it’s deer or rabbit season.

You can overwinter your plants as well so they’ll have a higher chance to come back and produce blooms once the risk of frost passes.

Related Article: What’s Eating My Honeysuckle Leaves?