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?


  1. Gardening is a constant battle, isn't it.
    I sometimes wonder if I bring pests into my garden on the plants that I buy. Earlier in the Summer I bought a plant in a very small pot - a must re-pot immediately situation. When I tipped it out, there were slugs all in the bottom of the pot! Yuck!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. Hi Lea - you're quite right about being concerned about plants you buy. I try and quarantine mine for a while before planting. Weeds such as hairy bittercress often appear and the dreaded vine weevil has been known to lurk on the odd occasion. As for the slugs, I'm sure most of the ones I find in my pots have come from the garden :(

  3. It's always good to start the day with a few squashed pests on your fingers I find! I haven't had rose sawfly, but I've had the gooseberry one and it's completely stripped a plant or two in past years. Hope you get them all.

    1. I've seen quite a few people moaning about gooseberry sawfly and the Solomon's seal version this year. It would appear to be a good year for sawflies!

      It's a while since I;ve had gooseberry sawfly on my goosegogs, long may it continue *crosses fingers*

  4. I've found that buying soil can be a horror, as well. Especially if the soil is 'formulated' for indoor plants.

    1. Don't get me started! ;) That's a whole new topic to rant about...

  5. Luckily I haven't seen this sawfly but I've read about it quite a bit this year. I have to contend with whitefly on my balcony herbs - and boy do they move fast! Squishing is practically impossible! Grrrrr, indeed!!


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