Rose Bush Slugs

Ben HenryMay 17, '20
Rose Bush Slugs

As the weather finally warms up the bad bugs show up. The rose slug skeletonizes leaves on roses. Several of our customers mistook the damage for a disease. Rose slugs look more like caterpillars than slugs. They are the larvae of primitive wasps called sawflies. There are three species: the bristly rose slug (Cladius difformis), the European rose slug (Endelomyia aethiops), and the curled rose slug (Allantus cinctus). The larvae of all three are light green with brownish- orange heads, and they range in size from 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. The bristly rose slug is usually covered with many short hairs, while the other two species are smooth. When fully grown, rose slugs closely resemble butterfly or moth caterpillars. Larger, older rose slugs chew holes right thru the leaf. Female sawflies (the adult life stage of rose slugs) lay individual eggs in slits along the margins of leaves. When the larvae hatch they begin feeding on the leaf. Once they are fully grown, they drop to the ground and pupate in cocoon like chambers in the soil, then emerge as sawflies. Depending on the species, there can be one too many generations each year -- one for the European rose slug, at least two for the curled rose slug, and six for the bristly rose slug.

Rose slugs are extremely hard to see as their green color is almost the same as a rose leaf. Remember I always preach “Early Protection is the Key to Preventing Plant Problems”. When you first notice a problem with a plant address it before it becomes overwhelming! Rose slugs can defoliate a plant quickly.

Conventional Treatments

Bonide Eight Insect Control

Organic Treatments

Dr. Earth Pro-Active™ Home & Garden Insect Spray

Formulated with essential oils and garlic extract to knock down and kill insects quickly, the results are apparent from immediately to several minutes. Dr. Earth Pro-Active™ works to block Octopamine neuroreceptors. Octopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter that controls body movement and metabolism in insects and mites. The ingredients in Dr.Earth Pro-Active™ interefere with the transmission of Octopamine signals throughout an insect’s body. The interference of these signals leads to metabolic toxicity, immobilization and ultimately death. Garlic extract has been proven to repel insects for several weeks or longer.

Bonide Rose Rx 3 in 1 RTU

Two way triple action: Insecticide – Miticide – Fungicide/Kills eggs, larvae and adults! Prevents and controls black spot, anthracnose, rust, scab, blights---stops powdery mildew in as little as 24 hours! Kills all life stages of aphids, mites, scale, whitefly, beetles, leaf rollers---For use on roses and flowers as well as fruit, nuts, vegetables, herbs, spices, houseplants, trees and shrubs. May be used indoors. Easy on beneficial insects. An excellent choice for organic and IPM gardens. Contains NEEM OIL organic insecticide. Approved for organic gardening.