A wide range of beetle species enjoy feasting on rose plant foliage and flowers. While their infestation is not likely to be life-threatening to the rose it can make the plant unsightly and damage your prize flowers. Beetle larvae which are laid in nearby soil can eat away at the roots of the roses but this is not a common problem. Beetles can be managed by manual extraction (hand-to-hand combat), by physical barrier protections or by careful chemical intervention.
Pick off the beetles in the morning hours when they are slow. Use your fingers or a paintbrush to flick them into a bucket of warm, soapy water to kill them. As flying creatures, nearby relocation efforts will likely be futile. Disrupting their congregating on your roses will prevent additional beetles from joining the fray as they are attracted to one another as well as the roses.
Create a barrier to the roses by using cheesecloth or other sunlight and air permeable garden covers for the plants while the beetles are active. Anchor the cover by tying loosely at the base of the rose or anchoring in the soil with stakes or pins. This will keep the beetles from landing and feeding and send them to look elsewhere for sustenance.
Use an insecticide safe for roses and effective on beetles such as Sevin, Orthene or Dursban as a last resort. Coat the leaves and not the flowers, using only on a day when no wind is present and bees are not active. Apply according to the product label directions and dosing schedule. Repeating as recommended and as needed.
Things You Will Need
- Soapy warm water
- Cheese cloth or row covers
- String or twine
- Insecticide for roses, such as Sevin, Orthene or Dursban
- Never spray the rose flowers themselves with an insecticide of any kind. This can kill area bees and prevent necessary pollination from occurring for the rose and all area plants that rely on the bees.
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