Bugs Are Eating My Roses

Category Roses
If something is attacking the stems of cut rose bushes it is most likely one of two types of predatory wasp also known as cane borers. If you see this type of attack it usually accompanies an aphid infestation. This is a page about bugs eating my roses.


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I have some sort of little bug with wings that literally eats the center of the stem out of my rose bushes. It goes from the top of the cut off stem down the center and eats it leaving a hole. It is making each branch that it attacks die. I have put toothpicks in the holes, I have painted over the holes and they drill through it! What are these things? Thanks!

Hardiness Zone: 6a


You have some type of cane borer infestation. There are a few insects that bore into the cane ends of pruned rose bushes. The most common are two different types of predatory wasps.

One type of these wasps feed on aphids. The other type feed on the insects aphids prey on. Both types are likely to make use of already damaged or weakened canes for nesting purposes.

In either case, they are not likely your main problem, but rather a secondary problem arising from either a current or past infestation of aphids.


If you see your canes starting to be damaged, cut off the damaged part of the cane. The nests are usually fairly shallow, and can be repruned to a lower bud, or you can look for where the borer got in, and try sealing up the hole with wood glue (like Elmer's).

Once you reprune or seal up the holes, the wasps should try and seek out other food sources. To prevent cane borers in the future, your best bet is to be vigilant about controlling aphids.


October 31, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

The brown bugs you are describing may be earwigs or pincher bugs, roll up a newspaper get it damp and leave near the rose bush base, in the morning, throw the damp paper roll in a baggie and tie off, the earwigs love damp/moist places and will crawl into the paper roll. do this until you don't have any more problems, usually takes a few days. Good Luck! Dee

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By Malinda Henkel (Guest Post)
October 31, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

The brown bugs that get in between the petals are japanese beetles and they do alot of damage. You can buy japanese beetle traps at Lowes or Home Depot. They fly on the roses and eat their way through a flower.

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By Terri H. (Guest Post)
May 10, 20040 found this helpful

Hello, I don't have rose bushes. My grandfather used to grow roses, when I was young. I've always had a fondness for them. I read posts on message boards about the roses. Not long ago, I saw where if you had pests eating your rose bushes, to mix up in a spray bottle a mixture of water, dish soap and cayenne pepper to spray on them, it would help.


It's worth a shot. These ingredients are staples in my kitchen and probably yours, too. Best of Luck!

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May 11, 20040 found this helpful

I am not certain about the brown bugs, but slugs can be taken care of in several ways.

If you are able to surround your rose bushes with one or more of cedar chips, gravel, etc. the rough textures are supposed to hurt their sensitive bellies.

My mother, however, would sprinkle boric acid powder (which, depending on the type of brown bug you have may take care of him too) and salt around her bushes and the salt burns them.

I grew up in the south where boric acid was used for MANY uses! She would sprinkle it around the edges of the countertops and floors and in drawers and cabinets to kill ants and roaches too.

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