Rose Shrub or Bush Pests


Bushes are integral design additions to many gardens. They provide privacy for homeowners, homes and food for wildlife as well as aesthetical design elements to landscapes. Many are disease and pest resistant, offering varying qualities to gardeners without the need for much care, while others suffer from the onslaught of insects, mammals and even birds destroying them in search for food or building materials. Knowing about such pests will help in the identification and eradication of such annoying garden visitors.


Aphids are known pests on rose shrubs, bushes and nearly all other garden plants. These tiny insects spread various plant viruses. Their enormous appetites for plant juices can weaken plants enough to kill them. Aphids are commonly found clinging beneath leaves and on plant stems. Natural pest control of aphids involves using predators such as lacewings and midges. Chemical control includes permethrin as well as oil- and soap-based pesticides.

Japanese Beetles

One of the most feared of all rose pests, Japanese beetles attack the leaves and blossoms of rose shrubs, leaving behind a leaf skeleton and dead blossoms in their wake. They are a destructive and invasive species throughout the United States. The beetles can be handpicked and dumped into a pail of soapy water or sprayed with a chemical pesticide such as Karbaspray, Carbamine or Hexavin.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny organisms that attack roses, bushes and other plants. Heavy infestations can lead to leaf drop and, in the worst scenario, death of the plant. For smaller infestations, the mites are removed by hand with a cotton ball and then dunked in alcohol or hot soapy water. Lacewings, ladybugs and pirate bugs are natural predators of spider mites.


Deer love eating roses and other garden plants. During the winter and very early spring, natural food sources are hard to come by and gardens are attacked with gusto. Once a reliable food source has been discovered (like a rose garden), deer will return to the area. Deer can be deterred in a number of ways, including the use of predator scents (coyote urine is commonly used), pet dogs, soap and motion-activated water jets.


Rabbits are usually destructive in areas where their populations are high. When faced with loss of habitat, they are forced even closer to where humans live. Rabbits enjoy eating tender young rose plants, various shrubs and vegetables. Where steady food sources are available, they will reproduce with astonishing speed. Rabbits can be kept out of rose gardens with low fences. Terriers are often trained to chase them away as well.

Keywords: rose bush pests, pests that attack bushes, common rose garden pests

About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on and Demand Studios.