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Thread: Little Green Bugs Are Attacking My Rose Bush!

  1. #1

    Little Green Bugs Are Attacking My Rose Bush!

    Any rose experts out there? I need help. I noticed small little bite marks on the rose leaves--perfectly round and oval marks cut out of the leaves--with the leaves remaining. I caught a glance at the little devils yesterday. Small light green bugs--a hundred of them clustered on an unopened rosebud. What are they and how can I get rid of them? I have three rose bushes and they are attacking all three.
    "Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

    --Auntie Mame

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hey, there, Spitsy! Sounds like:

    Aphids are very small insects about a 1/16 to 1/8 inches long, usually light to lime green, but they can also be brown, red or black. They appear seemingly out of nowhere in the spring and feed on and damage tender new growth. They puncture the soft tissues and suck out the juices. Severe infestations will cause leaves to curl up and die, and they have been known to be able to completely kill a small new plant or just leafed out bare root rose. As they feed they excrete a sticky honeydew like substance that is attractive to ants. This honeydew substance can after a period of time grow molds and fungus and make the surface appear black and discolored. Aphids sometimes have a mutually beneficial relationship with ants, and this can work to your advantage, because the ants bite off the aphids wings and once knocked off they cannot return to the but. "I've fallen and I can't get up!" is their motto. Aphids overwinter as tiny black eggs on the stem of the rose near the new leaf buds or crevices. The young hatch on the bush and are right there where the new growth will be. Aphids are capable of producing several generations without being fertilized. At the end of the season, males and females with wings appear, mate and that is when the eggs are deposited.

    Treatment: A hard spray of water from the hose can help to remove aphid infestations. Aphids reproduce very rapidly and water treatment may need to be repeated every couple days for a couple weeks. But, insect predation is the best control of aphids. It is good to keep a healthy bug ecosystem in your garden in order to promote the health of ladybugs and other aphid eating insects such as lacewings and syrphid fly larvae. It is the juvenile ladybug larvae that are the most voracious eaters of aphids. If you are a regular sprayer of pesticides you will have to buy your ladybugs at the garden store. Release them in the evening so they don't immediately go over to your neighbor's yard. It might take two weeks for the cycle of new ladybugs producing new larvae for this to take effect.


    Bob
    (running out to check his roses!)

  3. #3
    Good to "see" you again, Bob! I think you hit the nail on the head. They must be aphids! They are lime green and currently wingless. They seem to be puncturing the soft tissues and sucking out the juices. There are clear shells remaining in the surface of the leaves they eat.

    The ladybug idea sounds like a wonderful organic treatment option! Cool. I've got to get myself to a garden center this weekend.
    "Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

    --Auntie Mame

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    We get aphids on our pepper plants.

    I've had good luck with dishwashing liquid and a hose-end sprayer. I use Joy, but I would imagine almost any dishwashing liquid would work. I use 1 Tablespoon of soap in the sprayer and then just blast away.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Praying mantis is another one that eats aphids and they can be fun to watch. They eat a lot of larger insects too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    If you buy ladybugs and release them at night like Bob said, make sure you have a water source for them like a few puddles of water. They will wake up in the morning ready to drink and then feed.

    We released some last year into our vineyard and are still seeing a lot now.

    I also bought a praying mantis pod over a month ago, but nothing has hatched yet.

    You still want to keep some bad bugs so the good ones have something to feed on but not enough to cause major damage. We had a few vines severely damaged last year by aphids and they pretty much stayed on those few so I took that as a loss instead of trying to nuk them all.

  7. #7
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    We neber saw anything hatch from the pod -- just saw them in the garden. I think we got a few that we saw and figure a few more may have scattered about. I may have to order a pod -- I haven't seen them here.

  8. #8
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    Beth, do you have a Home depot? They sell the praying mantis pods at the garden checkout

    Laurie

  9. #9
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    I think that things like that are more of a California thing than a Texas thing -- that's when we had ours. I will check again, but the occassional lady bugs are all I've seen around here.

  10. #10
    Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! I just peeked at my rose bushes...Now some of the aphids have wings! They are clinging to every unopened rose bud on the bushes. It just rained heavily and they are still stuck on there. Just looking at them makes me uncomfortable and itchy. I've got to go to the garden center tonight!

    If I put ladybugs or praying mantis pods in my garden--will they spread across to the neighbors' gardens? Their gardens are very close to mine. I know they are "good" bugs but will they cause any damage to any other plants? I don't want the home owners association blaming me for a massive ladybug infestation.

    Thanks for the dish soap suggestion Dee. I may try that as a remedy before the ladybugs start eating!
    "Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

    --Auntie Mame

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPITFIRE View Post
    If I put ladybugs or praying mantis pods in my garden--will they spread across to the neighbors' gardens? Their gardens are very close to mine. I know they are "good" bugs but will they cause any damage to any other plants? I don't want the home owners association blaming me for a massive ladybug infestation.

    You loose the ladybugs in the evening, which minimizes flight. You still lose something like 75% or more, but there will be plenty left to handle the aphids. ETA: you should also water the garden before releasing, preferably in a well-flowered area.

    Ladybugs are benevolent. If there's a complaint, there's something wrong with them. Besides, are you planning to put little name tags on them identifying them as yours?

    Bob
    Last edited by bobmark226; 05-08-2008 at 01:33 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    I never had any luck with ladybugs. I would watch as they flew over my fence into the neighbor's yard.

    But the spray of dishwashing liquid and water worked very well.

    Good luck! They are nasty little critters.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    I use Safer insecticidal soap to get rid of aphids and it works very well. My ladybugs always seem to fly away. And praying mantis' are rather lazy-- you almost have to place them on the affected plant to get any results (although they are way cool to watch!).

    What occurs to me, though, is that you said the rose plant leaves have little oval and round holes in them. Aphids just pierce the stems and soft tissues and suck the fluids, they don't actually nip at the leaves. Look closely and see if there is some other kind of insect around. Although soap will take care of the aphids and other soft-bodied insects, if you have beetles or an insect with a hard shell attacking the leaves, you will need a stronger insecticide.

    Try googling Gardens Alive and see what is on their database for symptoms.
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

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