Spring is here and time for roses to put on their spectacular annual show. To our delight, plants are bursting with a bounty of gorgeous blooms and abundant lush foliage. It’s also the season for lots of insects to make their appearance in the garden. If you see a bug you don’t recognize, don’t squish it or reach for the bug spray. Find out who the stranger is before taking any action.
Is it a good bug that’s helping to keep your aphid population down? A nuisance insect that may nibble on a petal here and there, but not do any notable damage? A visitor that’s landed on your rose for a rest stop? Or a really bad actor? It’s important to know who’s who in the garden.
There are more than 1.5 million known insect species in the world, and more than 97 percent are either good for the garden, or simply benign. Less than three percent of insects do actual damage to plants. Beneficial insects perform vital functions in the environment – pollinating plants, eating harmful bugs, and breaking down dead materials to help begin the process of recycling, among them.
To aid you in figuring out whether it’s a good bug, a nuisance type or a troublemaker, check out What Bug is That? a new addition to our website. This diagnostic aid includes photos of insects commonly found in the rose garden. Match the critter you see in the garden to one of the photos and click on the name below it to get more information on who this is and how to manage it. The more you use it, the more familiar you’ll become with the inhabitants of your garden.
Note: The true size of the insects included in this guide is not representative in their photos.