All Things Gardening forum: Something tiny, black and shiny eating rose bud petals

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Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 10, 2018 7:13 AM CST
Hi there,

I have always wondered why I have holes in some of the buds on my roses. Then yesterday I saw it for the second time. This thing could stand on a pin head, it's about that size. Black and shiny and fast. When I try to catch it it will just run down into the far reaches between the rose petals. Should I spray Neem Oil? Do you know what they are? They are like teeny shiny beetles.

I wanted to show you guys my purple with pink mini parade rose buds with one flower opened but they got to it.

Cheers!!
πŸ˜€

Mindi

I should have put this in the questions but for some reason I have difficulty posting onto that forum so I just went here!!
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 10, 2018 10:54 AM CST
A systematic rose food with insecticide.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
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cwhitt
May 10, 2018 10:59 AM CST
Sounds too fast for a black aphid. But there are tiny black beetles, and my guess is that is what you have. They also attack mums. So yes, I would spray them, or buy some beneficial insects from some place like Gardens Alive.
https://www.gardensalive.com/c...
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Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
May 10, 2018 11:16 AM CST
Hi Mindi!! There, got your name correct this time!! LOL. Been growing roses for a long, long time, and I can't think of any almost miniscule shiny black beetle that eats rose buds?? Sometimes on both Peonies and Rose blooms, I have seen such as described, but they are not accountable for your missing buds/flowers, they are just doing their thing, perhaps nesting/collecting nectar, whatever, but I feel quite certain they do not eat buds or flowers, and they certainly do not eat holes in leaves. Black aphids do not fit your description at all. Have you checked under the leaves for those tiny little green-to -white rose slugs-1/4" to 1/2" long? Additionally, thrips can be a possible culprit, but the holes in leaves would be like small white dots. Only other possible culprit I can think of is what I call an inchworm. I posted a picture somewhere. It looks like a 1" slim caterpillar, and as it eats its way around a bud, it's back arches up as it moves. There, the best I can do, ruling out any kind of critter, but I do not think the little black beetle has anything to do with it, just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. LOL. Note: Not up to date on rose problems in California. Let us know if you find the culprit?? Cheers!
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 10, 2018 11:41 AM CST
Thank you all for your responses. Yeah this thing was fast. I couldn't get it and tiny. I have literally a tree full of breeding ladybugs in all stages of life right now so I have the beneficial insects in my yard. They are eating all the aphids that seem to migrate to the tree this time of year. It's a plum tree. I never trim it until the ladybugs are all hatched out and finished. So I'm getting whacked in the head quite frequently lol.

Back to the issue, I'll look under the leaves and do a better inspection. The holes in my buds look pretty big in comparison to that black shiny beetle thing also. I think I'll get something just for roses like one poster said.

Thank you all for your input!! I'll try to find caterpillars because that's what it sounds like would make that kind of damage. Whatever it is isn't going after anything other than buds.

Cheers!!
πŸ˜€

Mindi
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
I have no use for internet bullies!
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greene
May 10, 2018 11:46 AM CST
Take a look at Rhynchites beetles especially R. bicolor. They can be as small as 1.3 mm and they can be red or black.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
May 10, 2018 1:09 PM CST
Greene: Yep, I followed your advice and looked it up.
Rose Weevils (Curculios) The rose curculio or rose weevil is a reddish and black weevil with a distinctive long snout on the head. It is about 1/4 inch (5-6 mm) in body length. The snout is used for drilling and feeding on flower buds. Its scientific name is Merhynchites (=Rhynchites) bicolor Fabricius and it is a member of the Order Coleoptera, Family Curculionidae. It occurs throughout the United States. There are several color forms which at various times have been recognized as species or subspecies.

I have seen those "bugs" here, but never on a rose bud that I can remember, but rose buds are definitely their preferred diet. I "eliminate" them or anything shaped like it, distinctive shape, reminding me of "stinkbugs" and even then, that is not a good comparison. Anyway, we will let the poster put forward her observations, but I think the color, size, and lack of speed may rule out the R.Bicolor! Great suggestion, and you may well be correct! Cheers!
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
I have no use for internet bullies!
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greene
May 10, 2018 1:49 PM CST
Gee thanks, but my advice was directed at the OP, Mindi, as she is the one who has the insect that needs to be identified.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 10, 2018 4:12 PM CST
Hi Greene!!,

Nope but thank you!!! It was lacking the elongated head and mouthparts. Sorry I went gardening and then was so worn out I had to lay down then get the kids lol. Iam beginning to think this may just be a beetle who likes roses. It's sooo tiny and black but shiny. No stick out head. We do have stink bugs. Would those do that? Green and black and red. I just haven't found any other culprits as of yet. The stink bugs weren't near the roses 🌹 though.

Thank you all!!
Cheers,

Mindi
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 10, 2018 8:50 PM CST
@fwmosher, Frank ...

Rose curculios are much larger than the insect that Mindi described in her post.

I hate those dang things, but at least they are not breeding in my garden ... they have to find it first ... Hilarious!
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
May 11, 2018 10:00 PM CST
I saw some odd black spots on a catnip stem and when I looked at them with a magnifying glass, I would swear they were aphids. There were even ants guarding them! I just snapped the stem off and tossed it in the middle of the lawn where I ground my heel over them. I doubt any of them survived. But I will be checking that and nearby plants every few days.
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
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Danita
May 12, 2018 11:35 AM CST
I wonder if it could be one of the species of insects known as "flea beetles."
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 12, 2018 2:22 PM CST
Hmmm. It's something that can bore a Circular hole into the buds. So it has to spend some time doing it and going through the petal layers. Frustrating. I keep searching but Iam now thinking that the little black beetle isn't the culprit. I think it was too small.

Mindi
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
May 12, 2018 6:17 PM CST
Nothing to do with the black beetles, but hopefully, here is a picture of what I mistakenly refer to as an inchworm.

Thumb of 2018-05-13/fwmosher/6e7c69

It may be some kind of a "looper" I don't know. However I have found this insect several times over the past three years, both right on a rosebud, and also chewing away at the perimeter/circumference of a rose leaf, and really doing a job in both cases. Again, nothing to do with the little black beetles, just another uncommon rose insect.
DANITA: Possibility!!!
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 12, 2018 7:34 PM CST
fwmosher said:Nothing to do with the black beetles, but hopefully, here is a picture of what I mistakenly refer to as an inchworm.

Thumb of 2018-05-13/fwmosher/6e7c69

It may be some kind of a "looper" I don't know. However I have found this insect several times over the past three years, both right on a rosebud, and also chewing away at the perimeter/circumference of a rose leaf, and really doing a job in both cases. Again, nothing to do with the little black beetles, just another uncommon rose insect.
DANITA: Possibility!!!
Thank you!! Iam looking for possibilities. That guy would really stand out being black. D'Oh! what am I not seeing??? Maybe it's something that comes out at night. I have lots of earwigs throughout the gardens but have never seen them on a rose. It's still a mystery as of yet. My roses working so hard to bloom for me and then they get ruined. It's a mini parade purple rose that is being massacred at the moment. Frustrated πŸ™

Mindi

Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 14, 2018 4:34 PM CST
MindiHammerstone said:Hmmm. It's something that can bore a Circular hole into the buds. So it has to spend some time doing it and going through the petal layers. Frustrating. I keep searching but Iam now thinking that the little black beetle isn't the culprit. I think it was too small.

Mindi


Thank you for giving more information about the damage you are seeing.

I believe the little bug you THINK is doing the damage is really not the guy that is causing the problem with your roses.

Could you please post a photo of the damage ? I know of several insects that can cause the damage you are describing in the post, but the bore hole looks different for each bad guy. A photo would help.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 14, 2018 5:28 PM CST
Thank you!!! I did some dead heading. I'll see if I have any to take photos of and then I will post themπŸ˜€

Mindi
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 14, 2018 5:48 PM CST
Well what do you know. I have two examples.


Thumb of 2018-05-14/MindiHammerstone/726faa


Thumb of 2018-05-14/MindiHammerstone/ebbadb

It's really disheartening to have the buds ruined while you're waiting for them to open. I've found no culprits. I hope that these pictures help!!

πŸ˜€

Mindi

Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 14, 2018 6:06 PM CST
Oh and after attacked the holes turn black. I have one large Marigold with a black spot on top. Pitch black. Like used oil.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
May 14, 2018 8:04 PM CST
I can tell you for certain, it is not rose curculios. Maybe @Sooby can tell you more about your bad guy.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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