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Bugs and other Creepy Crawlies

Growing roses is a wonderful and rewarding hobby. Unfortunately, not only people admire roses. There are all manner of disgusting pests, insects and critters that find your roses make a delicious free meal.

Here are some of the most frequently encountered rose pests, diagnosis and help to eliminate them.

Aphids:
Aphids are the most common and frequently encountered pests on roses. They range in color from green to brownish red. Aphids favor young growth and are found on new shoots and buds. Severe infestation can lead to other problems such as sooty mold caused by the excretion of honeydew. You can try to dislodge them by spraying with plain water or spray with a mixture of one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in a gallon of water. Ladybugs are natural enemies of aphids and can be used to control them.

Caterpillars and Grasshoppers:
There are many types of caterpillars and grasshoppers that like to feed on rose leaves and petals. Usually there are only a few, but they can do a lot of damage if not removed. Handpicking is the best way. Also cut off any rolled up leaves you see - caterpillars hide inside them.

Fuller Rose Beetles:
These are brownish grey bugs, about 1/3 inches long with a protruding downward pointing snout. They chew the leaves and petals of your roses, leaving ragged edges. They are difficult to locate because they feed during the night and hide in the daytime. If you suspect you have fuller rose beetles, shaking the rosebush will dislodge them and you can pick them up off the ground.

Leafcutter Bees:
Leafcutter bees attack the leaves of roses by cutting out semicircular portions to take back to their nests. They usually do not bother the flowers. No control is recommended because we do not want to kill off natural pollinators.

Rose Curculios:
These are reddish to black snouted weevils about a quarter of an inch long. Adult rose curculios damage rosebushes by punching holes in buds, flowers and canes. Their larvae eat developing buds. For some unknown reason, these pests prefer white and yellow roses. For control, you can hand pick adults and cut off infested buds.

Rose Slug:
Not really slugs, the rose slug is the larva of a sawfly that feeds on the foliage of roses. They are a greenish color and resemble caterpillars. You can dislodge them with a forceful spray of water or in the event of heavy infestation, use neem oil for control.

Scale Insects:
Scale insects suck sap from canes, causing them to die off. They are stationary in their adult stage and are easily identified small grey or brown raised bumps. The best method of control is to remove infected canes and treat the plant with neem oil to avoid re-infestation.

Spider Mites:
Another insect that lives off the sap of roses, most particularly the leaves. Signs of infestation are a dusty appearance of the plant, dried up foliage and stippled appearance of the leaves. Spider mites like hot dry conditions. Water your roses regularly. For heavy infestations, use a miticide recommended for roses.

The above represents only a fraction of the many creatures and will attack and feast on your roses. We hope you don't encounter ANY of them.


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