Pests and Diseases forum: Little White Bugs on Miniature Rose Bush

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Zman3382
Jul 1, 2017 12:06 PM CST
Hello. I have a miniature rose bush growing in a container on my apartment balcony, but it has become infested with small white bugs. They don't seem to look like aphids or other bugs I've seen commonly identified as rose bush infestors. They do seem to be having a negative effect on the blooms (browning, not opening) and they seem to leave a shiny residue on the leaves. Would appreciate any help identifying these guys and getting rid of them. Thank you in advance!


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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 1, 2017 12:33 PM CST
Welcome!

As aphids grow they shed their skins, so that's what you have. The white things are shed aphid skins. The shiny residue would be their "honeydew". You could try insecticidal soap if there are still live ones but you'll likely have to repeat it a few times at intervals. Sometimes it is also possible to spray them off with plain water but again you'll need to keep at it. I read that the Queen's roses at Buckingham Palace are treated with a home-made garlic spray that keeps the aphids away but I don't have the recipe - you may be able to find it somewere. There are, of course, commercial insecticides as well if you want to go that route.

Zman3382
Jul 2, 2017 11:27 AM CST
Hi Sooby, and thank you for the info. Despite my bio background it hadn't dawned on me that those could be larval husks given how different they seem to look from the images of adults I've seen.

After some research I think I'm going to try Safer Spray. For such a small plant I hope it will be enough.

Still odd to me that I do not seem to see any adults though. Those white husks are everywhere, but on inspection (even under leaves) I don't see any adults about. Do they dig in to the stems or anything nefarious like that? I think the soap has to hit them directly to work, so without being able to see them I worry about its efficacy.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Jul 2, 2017 1:07 PM CST
Maybe they've moved on to another host, or lady beetles or some other beneficial insect gobbled them up? Yes the soap has to hit them directly although if you spray early in the morning it stays wet longer on the leaves so may also get any that avoided a direct hit if they wander into the soapy area, not that aphids do much in the way of wandering. But if they seem to be gone you could just wait and see. They don't dig in to the stems so if you can't see them presumably they're no longer there, or at least not there in sufficient numbers to do damage.

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