Last updated on February 5th, 2022
When you add mint to your food, it adds a beautiful fragrance and flavor to the dish you are cooking. Then again, you must have heard amateur gardeners say that you can repel several pests by planting mint plants in your garden.
Thus, the common notion is that mint is a sturdy herb that can withstand an attack of pests and insects.
However, in reality, it is quite the opposite! Recently I visited a farm in my neighborhood that sources several herbs and vegetables to the local market.
Animals that eat mint plants:
- Spider mites
- Bearded dragons
As I started talking to the owner about various types of herbs and how you can grow these at home, he told me that mint is a plant that requires a lot of care and protection from pests.
It was quite an eye-opener, and with his help, I compiled a list of animals and pests that eat mint.
Here are 7 animals that eat mint:
Moths are one of the most common pests that affect mint plants. The aromatic smell of spearmint and peppermint can attract mint moths.
These moths are usually found flying around mint plants from April to September. You can also find the moths on your mint plants in October on rare occasions.
These moths are usually day moths and are known to eat the leaves of the mint plants. The moths also lay eggs on the leaves and branches of the mint plants.
When these eggs hatch into caterpillars, you will find them feeding on the leaves of the mint plants as well.
Thus, moths can be dangerous to all mint plants as both the grown insect and the caterpillars feed on the plant.
2. Spider mites
Spider mites are also another known pest that can destroy your mint plant. These tiny insects can have a life span of 8 to 15 days.
These creatures lay eggs on the leaves of the mint plants, and when these eggs hatch, they can eat through the leaves and stems of the plants.
Spider mites are attracted to the mint plants, especially during the dry season. Therefore, you will find spider mites attacking mint plants during the summer season.
Therefore it is vital to keep your plants well-watered, especially during these times.
If you do not stop a spider mite infestation right at the onset, these insects can destroy your plants and reduce the harvest significantly.
Aphids are also another well-known pest that can destroy your mint plants. These are soft-bodied insects, and they can lodge onto the underside of the plants.
They will suck the sap from the leaves and the stem of the plants and make the plants dry. The leaves will become brown, wilted, and fall off the plants.
If you do not control an aphid infestation right at the onset, you will find that the plant itself will die.
The continuous feeding of the aphids results in the entire plant drying up, and you will find that the plant’s stems have also become yellow.
One of the easiest ways to manage an aphid infestation is to spray the plant with Neem oil.
Caterpillars are known to feed on plants and can destroy the entire foliage of mint plants.
The caterpillars that consume mint plants are known as loopers, and these greenish worms can camouflage themselves well and are usually found on the underside of the leaves.
A caterpillar attack on mint plants can destroy your harvest. In addition, these caterpillars can cause damage to the roots of the mint plants.
However, you can quickly identify whether caterpillars have attacked your mint plants.
If you see tiny holes in the leaves of your mint plant, then it is an indication of a caterpillar attack.
It is important to control a caterpillar attack at the earliest, to protect your harvest.
One of the ways of controlling a caterpillar infestation is to spray the plants with a bio-insecticide spray.
If you have pet parakeets, you can give them different types of herbs, and you will find that they will nibble on the leaves happily.
You can include mint in the herbs that you offer your parakeets.
However, the first thing you need to keep in mind when you offer mint to your parakeets is that this herb should be free of any pesticide.
Typically, mint does not contain any toxic chemicals that can harm the birds. But store-bought mint can contain pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
However, if you are harvesting mint plants in your garden, you should give these to your parakeets as you can be assured that these will be free of any chemical pesticides or insecticides.
Mealybugs are among the other pests that can wreak havoc with your mint plants. These are tiny white insects that feed on the sap of the plant.
But mealybugs are pretty dangerous to mint plants as these insects can quickly suck the sap out of an entire mint plant.
You can quickly identify a mealybug infestation because if your plant is under mealybug attack, you will find white intertwined web-like things on the stem of your mint plant.
These sticky webs like structures that form around the stem of your mint plants result from the mealybugs’ secretions.
7. Bearded dragons
Bearded dragons can consume mint leaves as these have excellent nutritional value and high water content.
If you have a pet bearded dragon, you can give it mint leaves and its other food, as it will help the creature get a good supply of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium.
These are necessary for the creature to build a healthy immune system. But it is important to remember that you should monitor the number of mint leaves you give your pet bearded dragon.
In the wild, bearded dragons consume mint leaves when there is a lack of water in the region.
Therefore, when you give your pet mint leaves, you must discuss the number of mint leaves you can include in your daily diet with your veterinarian.
The animals that eat mint plants are moths, spider mites, aphids, caterpillars, parakeets, mealybugs, and bearded dragons. However, animals like bearded dragons and parakeets can only eat mint occasionally rather than as a regular treat.