Roses forum: Rose Curculio or Rose Weevil

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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Jun 8, 2013 4:37 PM CST

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Rose Curculio or Rose Weevil.

Since moving 2 years ago, this pest has really aggravated me, I didn't have this in my other garden 1.5 hrs south of here, never even heard of them. The first 2 years here weren't even that bad but I guess they now know I grow roses. The weevils damage makes for some awful looking photos and you know I love photographing my blooms close-up, especially roses!
I posted this recently in my blog recently. (make sure to 'watch' it for any updates)

Rose weevils damage roses in several ways. First, by making feeding punctures with their long beaks on rose buds, calyx, and peduncle, and secondly, the weevils lay their eggs in the buds and the larvae feed on the petals and receptacle area. If any flowers manage to open, the petals show these awful small holes made by the adults, ruining the bloom.

Regular handpicking of the adult weevils and removal of damaged buds and spent blossoms will prevent continuing damage and will prevent severe populations the following year. They drop readily from plants and feign death when disturbed so I have been using a bowl of soapy water held under the buds when hunting them. I also just read that scouting and handpicking should also be done on other hosts such as raspberries and boysenberries, and blackberries.

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But I recently received a new tip that I will be trying out, that will be shared here soon! Thumbs up


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[Last edited by Calif_Sue - Jun 8, 2013 4:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
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zuzu
Jun 8, 2013 5:12 PM CST

Moderator

I never had curculio weevils the first 20 years I lived here. Then I planted a row of rugosas and the weevils came flocking. After I pulled out all of the rugosas, they left. A few years later, however, they discovered my gallicas and returned in hordes. They've now moved on to the rest of the OGR's and most of the modern roses. Hand-picking just doesn't work in a garden like mine. It's beyond the abilities of one person. I'd have to hire lots of people to do it, and I frankly can't afford it. The only good thing about them is that they have a short lifespan and only attack the first flush of roses. That means that I might as well pull out the gallicas and other once-bloomers, of course, but they represent only a small percentage of my roses.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 8, 2013 6:30 PM CST
I am still new to this forum and am still working on figuring it out, so I am just going to copy the private message I sent to Sue and add a couple of comments from her response. I hope you don't mind.

Sent to Sue:

Hi Sue....

I still haven't figured out when I should be responding to a thread on this site, so after reading your blog, I thought I would send you a private message. I hope this works.

Rose curculios can be easily managed to the point where you will get most of a first flush of roses undamaged. By most, the only roses you won't see in that flush are the ones which have not bloomed yet. And, no, you will not find this method documented anywhere on any site on the net. It's something I came up with several years ago.

I only have about 100 roses in this garden, and it does take time and work to rid the garden of the dang bugs, but it works. It happened by accident. I was hand picking bugs on Linda Campbell and realized while I was working on one plant, the dang bugs were busy on the other 99 roses. (They also work from first light to last light seven days a week ... I don't.) Since they only come up from the ground to eat and lay eggs in the buds for about 10 weeks, I decided that if there were no buds, they would leave. My garden was horribly infested from prior years, so plenty of the bugs were coming up out of the ground. After disbudding the garden, I saw two curculios the next night, then one, and then NONE. They all migrated OUT of the garden.

I've followed this practice for years and now the curculios have to find my garden because they don't breed in my garden. When I see the first curculio or the first damaged bud, I disbud the whole garden for the rest of their life cycle. For me, that is generally around the end of June.

You will find your roses push more buds and foliage during the disbudding period than usual because they have a mandate to bloom. Your roses will be stronger and healthier in the long run.

Smiles,
Lyn

PS ... feel free to share this information

****************
Additional Comments ...

Sue and others ... once the garden is disbudded any curculio coming up to feed and lay eggs will migrate out of the garden. Within a couple of days, you won't see any more bugs, but you have to disbud every day because the roses will be pushing buds.

Next year, you will have fewer damaged roses in the first flush, but you will have some because the bugs have already been breeding in your garden this year. The following year, you'll have a fuller first flush before they find the garden.

The best news is that by disbudding the roses this year, you are going to have a much larger and denser flush once you stop disbudding and allow the roses to bloom. That was MY biggest surprise.

Other gardeners in my garden club reported curculio damage in their gardens about 4 weeks ago. I saw my first curculio this week and have disbudded all of my roses. It takes the bugs a while to find your garden when they are not breeding in your garden.

Curculios will go after any colored rose of any class. Here's a link to the information in the GLOSSARY on HMF

http://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/gl.php?n=296

Lyn

I am adding a photo of Gourmet Popcorn's first flush this year with no damaged blooms.


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I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 8, 2013 6:56 PM CST
Zuzu....

Hand picking doesn't work simply because the bugs are working on all of your other roses while you are picking bugs off of one rose at a time.

I don't grow once bloomers, unless the bloom period starts after July 1 and I am too old to be climbing ladders to disbud climbers. I don't miss them at all.

For your garden, I would suggest that you start disbudding the roses that you know have thick petal substance as soon as they start budding out because those are the last blooms to open in spring. Then when the curculios arrive in your garden, you've already taken care of a lot of the bushes and can work on the roses that have given you your first flush.

The first disbudding is what takes the longest amount of time and labor. After that one is done, it's just a nightly chore to catch the new buds. For me, this year it's only going to be for about 4 weeks because it took the curculios so long to find my garden.

Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 8, 2013 8:10 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks, Lyn, for sharing your experience. It does sound like the perfect solution for people with small gardens or lots of help. I have about 2,000 rose bushes, however, and my income no longer supports help in the garden. It takes me more than a month to prune my roses, and disbudding could take even longer, so the damage would be done long before I could get to it.

Besides, I might be able to give up my once-bloomers, but I can't imagine my garden without my climbers.

Last year I grew so tired of never seeing Cardinal de Richelieu produce pretty buds and blooms that I brought out the big guns. Although I'm against the use of chemicals in my garden in theory, I resorted to spraying the monsters with Spectracide on that rose. It kills them on contact and protects the rose from them for the next two or three weeks. It was the first time in years that I had seen perfect buds and blooms on Cardinal de Richelieu. I wouldn't go so far as to spray all of my roses, but I may use the Spectracide on other once-bloomers I particularly like in years to come.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 8, 2013 9:47 PM CST
Hi Zuzu....

Yes, my garden is much smaller than yours ... I have about 100 roses ... and our climates are different.

We each have our own gardening style and challenges. In general, I, too, avoid insecticides, but might use them for a few favorite roses.

I don't prune all of my roses every year. I do my "clean pruning" when I am disbudding. That's when I get rid of the winter die back and such. I just hated seeing the curculio damage so much, that I had to find a way to handle it and this works in this garden.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 8, 2013 10:21 PM CST

Moderator

It is the ideal solution for a smaller garden, Lyn. I think some of our forum members from the other side of the country have found debudding to be the best way of controlling Japanese Beetles. That's another illustration of your statement that we all have our own challenges. At least we in California don't have to worry about those beetles. Smiling
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
Jun 10, 2013 8:44 AM CST
These weevils look worse than aphids and Japanese beetles combined! it would be heartbreaking to cut the blooms of your roses, especially the once bloomers.

For Japanese beetles, I use Bayer systemic and the bug zapper. During beetle season, I have to sweep the dead beetles off the sidewalk each morning. (I have the zapper on a dawn/dusk timer to protect the beneficial daytime insects) I garden as naturally as possible, but I don't like blackspot. In my new garden, I am planting the disease resistant-no spray roses like Jens Munk and William Baffin separate from the divas. (I learned the hard way that rugusas like Jens Munk don't like any spray at all).

Would a bug zapper draw the weevils? It is cheap and easy to get one at the Walmart and give it a go. In warm weather like yours, it may be hard to spray.

Do you have any bored children in your neighborhood to help you with labor intensive tasks? The kids love helping me squish and drown beetles. I give them seeds to plant in their own gardens as prizes. They love anything that lets them use a tool. (loaner tools from the dollar store). I had two boys digging out dandelions in the lawn. We talk about school and they educate me in pop culture - I had to google Honey Boo Boo. I guess their parents don't listen to them, very sad.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
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Skiekitty
Jun 10, 2013 8:45 AM CST
so THAT'S what's eating the buds! Rose Weevil! I'll have to do some research as to where they come from.. maybe I brought in some in when I bought a potted plant? I could NOT figure out what was eating just the buds and leaving holes like that! Rose Weevils! Sue, you're a life saver (or at least a rose saver...)
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 10, 2013 3:53 PM CST
Skiekitty............

It's unlikely that you brought them into your garden. Rose curculios are common to our part of the country, but JBs are not.

I never thought I would be glad that I was dealing with curculios, but since they only have a short season above ground and don't attack a large variety of plants like JBs they are much easier to eliminate from your garden.

Good luck with your roses.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 29, 2013 3:34 PM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Yeeeehaaaawwwwwwww! Curculio season is over ! I can stop disbudding the roses !

All of my plants have continued to really push new foliage and buds for the last four weeks. The extra foliage will make the plants far more heat tolerant which is important in my climate. Every year, I sigh a gasp of relief that I don't have to removed any more buds when the end of June arrives.

I may see a few bugs in the next couple of weeks, but I know the garden won't be totally infested and I'll get a clean first flush next year. For me, it's worth it.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 29, 2013 3:35 PM CST

Moderator

So glad it worked! Hurray!

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