Some gardeners plant marigolds in an effort to keep certain pests away, including aphids, potato bugs and rabbits. However, marigolds can't keep all unwanted garden dwellers away, and many will often attack them. A few types of insects like to munch on marigolds, including the pill bug. These tiny creatures can ruin your marigolds in a hurry by chewing on their leaves. To save your marigolds, you must attack their garden enemies.
Pick off any bugs you see. If your marigold munchers are large, simply pick them off with your fingers. This simple and cost-effective process is earth friendly and saves your plants from having to deal with pesticides. Place the bugs in a container and then douse them with boiling water. If you don't want to kill the bugs, you can transfer them to a grassy area that isn't near your yard.
Place sticky traps around your marigolds. Sticky traps are simply small pieces of material such as cardboard that are covered in a sticky substance. The pests will become trapped in the substance as they near your marigolds. Disposal is simply a matter of tossing the spent traps into the trash. Sticky traps aren't discriminatory and will trap just about anything that sets foot on them. Therefore, avoid using them as your pest-control method if rabbits, squirrels, or other animals frequent your garden.
Spray the marigolds with an insecticidal soap, which eliminates garden insects without harming the plants. Most soaps are simply sprayed onto the plant as needed; however, follow the directions on your product's label for best results.
Place plants that will deter the bugs around your marigolds. Just like marigolds often keep certain garden pests away, other plants may save your marigolds. For instance, plant morning glories or alfalfa around your marigolds if lady beetles are the problem -- these plants often keep away those damage-causing pests.