Bug causing Knockout Rose damage

kenandellieJune 17, 2009

Hi all. I have 3 Knockout Roses which have something eating the leaves. Earlier in the spring we had an invasion of caterpillers around here which did some damage but now something else is eathing them. I looked around and could see tiny white bugs jump off of the plants. Are those aphids? (I thought aphids were green.) They were too small to get a good look at but they sure could jump far. And whatever they are they are doing a number on the leaves. There are new holes in the leaves and one bush is missing a majority of the lower leaves and no buds are forming either.

If they are aphids I have been told to squirt them off with a hose. Won't they just come back again? Just curious on that.

So anyone have any ideas as to what this little white bug could be? They sure do have an appetite.


Ellen :-)

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There are new holes in the leaves and one bush is missing a majority of the lower leaves and no buds are forming either.

Plant eating insects come in two varieties (as far as you're concerned): those that chew and those that suck. The insects that chew leave holes, but the insects that suck don't. Instead those insects either leave white spots in an intact leaf, or they distort the shape of the leaf as it's developing.

Small white insects that travel far are often whiteflies, which like aphids are insects that suck; so also are leafhoppers (which are either pale green or multi-colored).

If you are seeing new holes that damage is caused by an insect that chews. If you can post a good (more or less close up) picture of the insects you're seeing (& also of the new damage) I (&/or others here) might be able to provide you with an educated guess as to what you're facing now.

(No promises, but for what it's worth I identify insects for a living.)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 10:09PM
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Thanks for your response. I will try my best to post a pic but all I saw were those tiny white bugs which I doubt I could photograph well.

Thanks again
Ellen :-)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 8:12AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Ellen -- No, if you knock the aphids off with a strong hose blast, they fall down to the ground, and pretty much die.
Of course, it is also satisfying to squish 'em.
I often combine squishing and hose washing, which cleans up my fingers. :-)


    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 3:06PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Are these jumping white bugs hiding in a white froth? If so, they are froghopper nymphs. They are sucking rather than chewing insects and seem not to do significant harm. I think some leafhopper nymphs are also white, and also not very harmful.

Check underneath chewed leaves for rose slugs (small greenish-white worms). Also look for leaf and web sandwiches which might hide a caterpillar,

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 3:38PM
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also not very harmful

(Except when they're spreading viruses via their feeding, which they can be quite good at doing.)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 11:11PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Actually all damaging insect suck! I'm using the term like in "This weather sucks!"

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 2:29PM
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