The Q&A Archives: Pin Size Holes In Rose Leaves

Question: I have spotted pin sized holes in my rose leaves. I am not sure what is causing them and what I can do to prevent any more damage. Since it's only May, I think it's too early for beetle damage, but what else could it be?

Answer: Probably some type of insect with sucking mouth parts is piercing the foliage. Examine the plants carefully, looking under leaves and using a magnifying glass if needed. It could be mites, which are almost microscopic, or aphids, although they are usually easier to spot on tender new growth. In the meantime, wash off your rose with a blast of water from the hose. Do this daily. It controls both mites and aphids. If that doesn't work, try a soapy water spray. Use 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent soap per gallon of water. Use regular, not concentrated soap. Don't use soaps with lemon, as the citric acid can burn plants. Start with the lower amount and work up as needed. Spray as often as needed. As with any spray you might wish to test it on a few leaves first before you treat all your plants. Next on my list would be an insecticidal soap spray.

Ladybugs and their larvae are voracious eaters of aphids and other pests. They often "arrive" a week or two after the aphids, so not spraying with chemicals is a good idea if you'd like to attract them and other beneficial insects to your garden.

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