Don’t Panic! Your Rose Bush Leaves Aren’t Doomed

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Video holes on rose leaf

If you’re new to the world of roses and have recently started cultivating them, it’s natural to encounter some unfamiliar issues. One common problem that might be causing concern is the appearance of little white or gray spots on the leaves, which eventually develop into holes. But fear not, my friend! Let’s get to the bottom of this.

The Culprit: A Sneaky Insect Called the Roseslug Sawfly

Those gray spots that eventually fall out are the handiwork of a tiny insect known as the roseslug sawfly. These critters have a habit of raspily munching away at the green layer of rose leaves, leaving behind thin gray tissue. This tissue eventually drops, giving the leaf a skeletal appearance.

When Does the Damage Occur?

The roseslug sawfly larvae are most active from mid-May to mid-June, causing damage during this period. Typically, the lower part of the rose bush bears the brunt of their voracious appetites, while newer growth remains unaffected as the insect’s activity subsides.

Addressing the Issue

Now, here’s the good news. Generally, you don’t have to go all out to control the damage caused by roseslug sawflies. By the time you notice the signs, it’s often too late for effective intervention. However, if the damage is caught early and a young rose bush is severely affected, you can turn to rose sprays, dust, or insecticidal soap to keep those pesky insects at bay.

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A Word of Caution: Spare the Bees!

Remember, roses are often visited by beneficial pollinating bees. So, it’s important to use insecticides sparingly, if at all. The damage caused by the roseslug sawfly is usually cosmetic unless the feeding frenzy affects a majority of leaves. But hey, a few imperfections never hurt anyone, right?

John W. is facing a different issue in his garden. His string bean plants are full of holes, thanks to a small but mighty beetle. So, John, let’s see how we can best handle these pesky intruders.

Introducing the Bean Leaf Beetle

John, it seems like bean leaf beetles are making quite the comeback this year. Their insatiable appetite has turned many leaves into holey messes, but fear not! There are effective ways to deal with these munching marauders.

Taking Control of the Situation

When it comes to controlling bean leaf beetles, several insecticides can come to the rescue. Products like Sevin, malathion, and permethrin (like the insecticide Eight) have proven to be quite effective. Just make sure to check the labels for the waiting time between application and safe harvest.

Going Organic? Here’s an Option

If you prefer an organic approach or need to apply insecticides close to harvest time, spinosad is your go-to solution. Consult the label for precise intervals of application. With the right tools, John, you’ll soon be bidding those beetles adieu and enjoying a splendid bean harvest.

Evelyn B. has stumbled upon an ingenious method to protect her yard and garden from deer damage, and she’s eager to share her secret with us. Evelyn, you have our attention!

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A Foolproof Method to Outsmart Deer

Evelyn’s method might sound a bit out there, but trust us, it works like a charm. She discovered that encircling an area about 4 or 5 feet high with monofilament fish line can keep deer at bay. The deer either see the reflection of the line and back away or feel it when they approach and wisely retreat.

Affordable Protection Worth Trying

Using PVC pipes or other posts to support the fish line, Evelyn successfully stopped deer from munching on her flowers, shrubs, and gardens. Even when the line came down once, causing some beet-related mayhem, putting it back up quickly resolved the issue. It seems like a small price to pay for lasting protection.

The Final Verdict

Evelyn, your method is far from crazy. In fact, I’ve tried it myself and can vouch for its effectiveness. It may not be practical in all locations, but if you have an area that can be encircled without posing a risk to humans, it’s definitely worth a shot. So, deer, beware! Evelyn’s fish line barrier is here to stay.

That’s it for today’s gardening advice, my friends. Remember, if you have any questions or need guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Ames Farm Center. They’re always ready to lend a helping hand. Happy gardening!

If you have a gardening or lawn care question, email Don Kinzler, NDSU Extension-Cass County, at [email protected]. Questions with broad appeal may be published, so please include your name, city, and state for appropriate advice.