Rose Pests: Identification and Prevention Guide

Keep a close watch on your roses for signs of pests. Watching for early signs is a key element in stopping pests early. (Check out Rose Diseases) Wilted foliage, deformed flowering buds, spots, or bugs on the leaves. Watering could be an issue; not enough or too much watering could be your culprit. Too much water could cause rot on your roses. Not enough and you see leaf wilt. Alkaline soil will cause the leaves to turn yellow. Prevention is the key.

How to Prevent Roses Pest


Water roses from above only in the morning, the rose foliage needs to dry before nightfall, being sure to use a bubbler sprayer, this prevents a forceful sprayer from splashing soil and debris on the rose leaves.


Be diligent about pruning throughout the growing season. Remove all canes and cankers from the rose canes. Remove black spot leaves. Roses can grow fast in some areas, leaving stringy canes. Be sure to prune and clean all debris from the beds when your roses are dormant. This keeps black spot from carrying over from year to year; strip all leaves from your rose bushes. Rake any fallen leaves, burn or dump in a garbage can. Spray the canes, twigs and the soil or mulch beneath with specially formulated dormant spray. Every couple weeks spray or dust your rose bushes with a multipurpose pesticide. This will ensure a pest free rose bush.

Your approach to pest on your roses can be combated with a systemtic, or natural control approach. Systemtic is a pesticide that is absorbed into the system of the plant, causing the plant to become toxic to the insect. Systemic bought with nutrients added. These should be applied every 6 weeks.

Natural Controls for your roses can be as simple as ladybug beetles, praying mantis, Trichogramma wasps, and lacewings. These insects help keep pests off your roses naturally. If you do use chemicals to keep pest off your roses you will be killing these natural insects. Systemic will not harm these insects.

Birds are an asset to the rose garden. Birds that eat insects include bluebirds, chickadees, mockingbirds, orioles, wrens, robins, warbles. Hang bird feeders to encourage these birds to your rose garden.

Safety Guidelines for Rose Bush Chemicals

Store all chemical behind locked doors, in original containers, with original labels away from animals and children.

Use the correct dosage never more than specified this could harm your soil, roses and animals.
Water your rose the day before spraying. On a calm day, with no wind. Wear protective clothing and mask when spraying. Don’t forget to mix your rose chemicals in an open area.

Spray both tops and bottoms of rose plant leaves, Dispose of containers in wrapped paper and dispose of properly. Be sure to wash your hands properly and Keep children and pets away from the area sprayed.

Common Pest in the Rose Garden

Ants: Ants can build nest in the ground disturbing the rose root.

Deer: Use deer repellent from your local nursery or garden center.Or install a high fence.

Leafcutter bees: Cut perfect circles in your rose plants. The only solution is to cut off the damage.

Moles: Treat the soil that kills the insects that moles feed on.

Theresa Lien
Theresa Lien
A professional writer who has specialized in houseplants and indoor gardening. She's had experience with outdoor landscaping too, having written about plants that grow well on balconies and patios as one of her previous articles for Wohomen.


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