Little green worms devouring my leaves???

Prettypetals_GA_7-8November 13, 2011

Since I am trying to go no spray for insects I have let these little boogers go since its time for winter but wondered if the cold weather will kill them or will they just lay eggs in dirt or go in dirt themselves or just wait til next year to deal with them. Never had them so bad like this fall. Thanks for your help, Judy

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They're this bad because they haven't frozen yet. There are biologicals and organics you can use. They've been discussed here before. Search the forums for saw fly larvae and rose slugs to get the full discussions. Kim

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 2:36PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Rose slugs are usually easy to control without resorting to sprays.

Usually, a week or two after the rose slugs appear, along come the beneficial bugs that eat them up--so if you have patience, nature will take care of the problem shortly--(unless, of course, you sprayed and in the process killed off all the beneficials).

In the meantime, if they are driving you nuts, just walk over to the bush, pick one off the leaf and (if your stomach can take it) squish it between your finger and thumb (repeat as needed). Alternately, pick it up and toss it out in the middle of the grass. Odds are slim it will make it back to the rose bush. Either way, that will keep you busy for about a week--at which time those beneficials should start showing up.

Some people hate those slugs so bad that they take actual pleasure in squishing them! Can't say I'd go that far--tossing them away works fine for me. LOL

That's about all it takes. Good luck.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 2:47PM
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Thanks Kim and Kate!

Next year when I first see them I will just pick them off then. I had no idea they would run rampant like they have. I have had some before but never like this. I pick off my beetles most of the time and squish them too so this is not a problem. lol!! Wasn't sure if they were what people called rose slugs. Guess I could have done some searches and found out. Thanks again for your help!!


    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 4:38PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

I find walking quickly past them when they appear works well for me. I'm also no spray. I've trained myself to ignore destructive insects. I've discoved a few holes in the leaves only hurt me, not the rose bush. After 9 years of no insecticides of any sort, birds and predatory insects pretty well handle any bad bugs.
Make sure you have lots of cover and provide feeders to attract birds. If they have places to hide and nest, they'll stay around.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 5:13PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Does a hard spray with a hose help with these guys? The problem is that this late in the season I doubt beneficials are going to show up to take care of them. So I'd say you need to get rid of them before they do multiply.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 6:55PM
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DublinKay, what ARE the beneficials that eat the saw fly larvae? I didn't think there really were any. I'd be glad to know which ones are my friends in this particular battle.

I can spend hours picking the buggers off each rose without noticing any serious decrease in their numbers or their ability to turn the leaves to lace. Maybe it's the downside of living where we hardly have hard freezes to kill them off; they definitely get worse from year to year to year if you don't do something about them.

On the other hand, they will not kill a rose; they just make it a bit less attractive to look at, and I'm pretty tolerant of BS, DM, rust, and all the other uglifiers.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 7:22PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I have rose slugs still feeding here in zone 5/6 as of the other day...
The type of rose slug we have produces several generations so there here from May until Novemember...
We also had lady-bugs on the rose bush on the same day.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 7:41PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

What is the Rose Slugs life cycle and how many generations will there be in a year?

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 cocoonlike chambers in the soil, then emerge as sawflies. Depending on the species, there can be one to 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.
I noticed some wasps and birds here trying to kill rose slugs but not to a great extent though...

Last year I sprayed for rose slugs as they were really bad using safers insecticide soap and I tried Monterey Garden Insect Spray (Spinosad)... I prefer the Spinosad but it does harm bees so directions must be followed.
This year I just left the Rose Slugs eat the leaves.
The damage wasn't to bad this year...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 7:57PM
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I do have lots and lots of birds that stay in the areas where the worst case of rose slugs are. I have lots of shrub around the house thats evergreen and have several bird houses and feeders that I keep year round because I do love the birds. A few of the rose bushes are completely defoliated but they were kinda sparce anyway with leaves and several rose bushes with lots of leaves have lots of leaves eaten on but not defoliated. If they were only the few holes I have seen from year to year I wouldn't care but when they devour the whole bush it does make me worry. Like I said I do my best not to spray but I am not going to let them destroy my foliage. I think I sprayed one time this year but I was careful to spray just the spots that had beetles very bad and was beyond me picking them off. I am trying to be good but its really hard sometimes. I will just be more vigilant next year and when I see one I will pick it off and squish away and hope next fall doesn't turn out like this one. Thanks again everyone for all your comments. Judy

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 8:29PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I think the rose slug predator is the Paper wasp--kind of a slender wasp. There may be others also.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 3:57PM
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Thanks Kate, that is good to know. Paper wasps definitely build nests under the eaves of my house and I have usually tried to remove them as soon as I see them since the sting of SOME hornet/wasp put me in the emergency room many years ago and I have never sorted out who it was. Maybe I should be a bit less hasty to remove them since they probably weren't the sort to have done the damage that I experienced.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 11:20AM
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