The Q&A Archives: Leaf-Cutter Bees on Roses

Question: There are strange holes in my rose's leaves -- almost as though someone came through with a hole punch. It doesn't look like caterpillar damage -- the edges of the holes are so perfect! What is making these holes?

Answer: Those small, perfectly circular holes cut into the foliage of your rose indicate that the leaf-cutter bee has visited. The bee uses the pieces of cut leaf to make its nest. Leaf-cutter bees are important pollinating insects so it don't be tempted to spray any insecticide -- although unsightly to some gardeners, the holes don't harm the plant. (Some gardeners delight in seeing evidence of this bee's work as a sign that spring has arrived!) Interestingly, leaf-cutter bees seem to prefer the dull leaves of old garden roses to the shiny leaves of modern hybrids.

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