Pesky Pests: Rose Sawfly
It's been a good year for the roses here at VP Gardens, so I suppose it's no surprise to find rose sawflies have made their first ever visit too. Grrr. They're quite hard to spot, but what usually gives them away is the skeleton leaves left after they've munched their way through the softer parts. Look closely at the picture just above the flowers to the left and right (click to enlarge if needed) and you'll see what I mean. Double Grrr.
Even when you know they're there, it can take a while to get your eye in and spot them, especially when they're lined up nose to tail on a leaf's edge. I've found shaking the leaves gently can help - they then tend to curl outwards away from the leaf, as you can see some of them have done in the above photo.
A mass squishing and re-inspection session ensued to rid my roses of these pesky blighters. I've added regular inspections of my roses to my early morning walk around the garden with coffee mug in hand. The female sawfly lays her eggs in the stems ready for the larvae to emerge onto the leaves, so it means they're well protected and hidden until they start to do their worst. As I only have a few roses, the inspection and squishing sessions are relatively brief. Phew.
It's interesting to note that I've only found sawfly on my three container grown roses, but the three left to fend for themselves in the garden are trouble-free so far *crosses fingers*. I wonder if there's a connection?