Saturday Series, What Are Those Pests On My Roses?
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Aphids mature in 7-10 days and the females can start reproducing at that time. Each female is capable of producing about 40-60 eggs. The eggs usually do not hatch until spring, just as roses start to put out new growth. The aphids will feed on the new growth and then start to colonise the rose bush. Extensive feeding can either distort or discolor the foliage and rose blooms.
In addition, as aphids excrete excess sap, they leave behind a sticky residue called honeydew. The residue is not toxic, but it can attract ants and other insects which can then infest the rose bush. The residue also attracts a sooty mold which can cause the canes and foliage to turn black.
The correct implementation of preventative measures are critical to controlling aphid infestations. It is key to provide adequate air circulation around the roses, use a horticultural oil during the winter that will kill the eggs, and inspect your roses from time to time. To treat your rose bushes for aphids, you can physically remove any of the aphids with your fingers or by spraying them off with a garden hose, spraying the aphids and underside of leaves with a solution of soapy water (see instructions at bottom), release beneficial insects into your garden as they will eat the larva and mature aphids, or you can use an organic spray such as Dr. Earth Yard and Garden Insect Killer. This is an all natural alternative option which will not hurt your rose bushes and is not toxic towards animals or humans.
Thankfully, with correct planting, care, and early detection, you can control aphids and keep your roses healthy and beautiful. Enjoy your roses!
Soapy Water Instructions:
Soap Spray – Mix ½ teaspoon mild dish soap and 1 teaspoon cooking oil in a 1-quart sprayer filled with water. Spray liberally over entire plant.