Chances are you have not heard of Rose slugs (also known as Rose worms or Sawflies) and chances are that you would not be interested to find out what they are unless you are having trouble with your roses. However, it is good to know what they are even if you do not. You do not know when you will need this information.
Rose slugs are a pesky problem. They have only became a problem for us in the last few years. At first, we did not know what was going on. All that we knew was that something was eating the roses and leaving them bare. After a little research, we found out that it was these pesky critters.
Rose slugs look more like caterpillars than slugs. They are actually sawfly larvae, a bug in the same family as wasps, bees, and ants. The adult sawflies look like a cross between a fly and a wasp.
Sawflies tend to eat at night. For that reason, you generally see the damage and not the rose slugs.
These larvae are destructive. They leave the leaves as skeletons or eat them entirely. The good news, however, is though the Rose slugs do damage, they do not harm the overall health of the plant (See here.) The trouble is that they make the plant look quite bad.
Fortunately, they are easy to control. In fact, they are controlled easier than Japanese Beetles if the pesticides are applied correctly.There are a wide range of products that can be used. When applying the insecticide, try to target the underside of the leaves, as this is where the larvae tends to eat.
Most insecticides will control sawflies, but stop in and we can give you a hand if you need help picking out one!