Garden pests - Knowledgebase Question

Gilbert, Ar
Avatar for t2c3
Question by t2c3
July 5, 2010
Something is eating my rose leaves. What are some remedies?

Answer from NGA
July 5, 2010
Without a description of the damage it's hard to guess, but the following is a common issue in the Phoenix area and we don't have many rose pests, unlike other parts of the country. If this isn't what you're seeing, please send another email with details.

Female leafcutter bees are responsible for those half-moon shapes neatly cut from leaf or petal edges. Thin, smooth surfaces such as rose petals and bougainvillea leaves seem to be favorite choices. A bee finds a hole slightly larger than herself, often in the ground or wood. She inserts several curled pieces of plant material to form a protective ?cell?. Next, she fills the cell with a mixture of pollen and nectar to nourish her hatching larvae. Finally, she lays one egg, seals the cell with more plant material and is ready to repeat the process. Leafcutters are 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, black or grey and resemble honeybees. They are solitary creatures and ignore humans. The bits of foliage they remove do not harm healthy plants so no control is needed. Indeed, they don?t ingest the plant material so spraying is ineffective anyway! If you plan to exhibit in rose shows, cover bushes with floating row cover.

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