Rose Slugs

by Nanette Londeree, Master Rosarian


Eggs singly in pockets along the margins of the leaves
European rose slug – usually found on the top of the leaf
Bristly rose slug larvae – found on the underside of the leaf
Curled rose slug – curled like a naked snail and attached to the undersides of the leaves


Leaves with only veins and one epidermis resulting in a “window pane” appearance that may turn brown and crispy
Leaf undersides scraped, “skeletonized”
Large holes in leaves
Entire leaves eaten except the main veins


Immature stages of sawflies (primitive wasps): European roseslug, Endelomyia aethiops; the curled roseslug, Allantus cinctus; and the bristly rose slug, Cladius difformis



Maintain good garden sanitation
Promote a habitat for birds
Check your roses regularly for signs of damage, and if you see them, remove the affected leaves and destroy


Hand pick and spray off with a strong spray of water
Use neem oil or insecticidal soaps being sure to spray both the top and undersides of the leaf
Use horticultural oil when they are first attacking – will work and is a very safe alternative


A really big nuisance, creating unsightly foliage, potentially weakening the plant

Photos courtesy of Baldo Villegas.

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