Answer: Caterpillars such as you describe are the immature stage of either butterflies or moths. They do have voracious appetites, but they feed for just a short period of time before pupating and turning into adults. Without knowing exactly what you're dealing with, I can only suggest some options: You can leave them alone, knowing they'll quit feeding in a few weeks. You can handpick them from your plants and destroy them. Or, you can take a few to your local Cooperative Extension office to find out exactly what they are. If they are bad guys, the biocontrol Bt (bacillus thuringensis) is effective against caterpillars. It's a bacterium that acts as a stomach poison, so if you use it, expect the caterpillars to continue feeding until they've ingested a fatal dose. Best wishes with your roses!
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