The Q&A Archives: holes in rose petals

Question: Could you please tell me what pests nibble small holes in rose petals? There is a brown ring around each hole.
I'm having this trouble with a yellow rose climber. Thank you.

Answer: There are several pests that can damage rose petals including budworms (you would see tunnels into the buds) and an assortment of beetles including the Japanese beetle. Budworms can sometimes be controlled using Bt (ingredient in Dipel) or with carbaryl (as in Sevin) but are difficult because they are protected inside the bud. Japanese beetles can sometimes be repelled with sprays containing neem. They can also be handpicked, or treated with carbaryl. If you don't think it is either of these pests, you might want to consult with your local Rutgers county extension to obtain a more specific identification of the pest. Based on knowing that, you can determine how to proceed. If a chemical control is needed, they will have the most up to date information on what to use and how/when to apply it for maximum results.

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