I have something eating at my leaves on my rose bushes
They do not turn yellow, they just get holes all over them. I do not see anything on them, no webs or spiders or anything, just the leaves are all bit up. can someone please help? Thanks. Nitapete
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It could be Japenese beetles but could also be some little rose slugs that will usually go after the blooms first and the attack the foliage. There is an insecticide by Safer called Bug Patrol, it can be purchased on-line in a form that attaches right onto the garden hose or in a spray bottle. It works very well and is not as nasty as many insecticides on the market earth friendly wise. I would check the underside of the leaves too as the bugs, slugs and worms will hide out underneath the foliage during the day and come out at night. You can sometimes see them with a flashlight at night. If the holes you refer to are actually neat little cut out half circles, it could also be cutter bees. They use the material they cut out of the roses leaves to make their little nests. In that case I would just leave them alone as they will be done doing their nest building soon and they are good guys.
My guess, since its that time of year, is japanese beetles. One method to help is to plant geraniums with the roses. They also love geraniums, but for some reason after nibbling on them, the japanese beetle (or June Bug, here in Michigan), rolls on its back like a turtle, and can't get up for a period of time. The secret here is a food chain issue. The bug lying on his back is a tasty tidbit for a foraging bird, who eliminates the pest for you. The beetles might change their eating habits in a natural way and you won't need pesticides. It is not a sure cure for your current situation, but you can try it (it's not too late) and planting geraniums will also add some interest around your roses.