Have you ever seen these critters in your rose garden? Or worse yet, do you have any of these symptoms that they’ve been there? Roses with petals that resemble Swiss cheese. Young buds and stems that have holes or are broken just below the bud. Meet the really bad guys of the rose garden – the rose curculio or rose weevil.
These destructive insects are about a quarter inch long, hard-bodied, bright red to dull black, long black legs, and a characteristic narrow, black, curved snout. They feed on all types of roses, and left unchecked, they can do serious damage.
This time of the year, the most common indication that these pests are present are holes in buds that fail to open, or that open with petals riddled with holes. They can gouge bud stems, causing the bud to wilt and then die, or chew on stems below the bud, causing it to bend over.
The best way to manage them is by knocking them off over a container of water and disposing of them. If you try to pick them off, the weevil may just drop from the bush out of sight, only to crawl or fly back up the plant. Be diligent – once you see one, get out each day late in the morning or afternoon, and monitor for them. Most years, they’re around from April – June, and disappear when the weather gets hot.
Curculio weevils can do this to your blossoms
By Nanette Londeree, Master Rosarian