The Q&A Archives: Control of Rose Midge

Question: We have a problem with Rose Midges, laying eggs on our rose hips. To prevent the hatching or infestation can we spray the rose bushes with Dormant Oil Spray? Will there be any damage to the growth of the bush, leaves ect? What do you recommend spraying on to prevent this?

Answer: Rose midges are small, nearly invisible insects that attack new growth, primarily flower buds. If the first generation makes it, you'll have problems all summer long, as you probably have witnessed! Here's the organic approach: Cut off infested buds and hips as soon as possible and destroy them. Keep close watch all season and destroy any infested buds you see. Apply beneficial nematodes (Grub Guard from Gardener's Supply Co.; ph# 800/863-1700) to the soil around the base of your roses. They'll feast on the pupae of any surviving midges. If there are wild roses nearby that harbor a reservoir population of midges, cut them down if you can, or apply nematodes to the soil around them as well. Insecticidal soaps sometimes work to smother them as well. If you're seeking a quick and dirty solution, use a soil treatment that contains diazanon that is labeled as a control for rose midges. Follow label directions and cautions carefully. Hope this helps!

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