Thursday, July 9, 2009

If I Could Banish One Bug

If I could banish one bug from my garden it would be the sawfly larvae. Sawflies themselves do not bother me, they eat mostly other bugs, but they lay their eggs on rose foliage and when they hatch they turn into little green worms that do more damage than imaginable. They live on the underside of the leaves and eat and eat and eat until the leaves are at least lacy and at the worse complete skeletons. A strong blast from the hose will dislodge them, as will hand picking, but you have to be diligent. Spraying with BT doesn't work because they aren't true caterpillars, besides, I have so many roses that spraying would be a big job. I have found that once roses are established and very healthy and strong, they will be bothered less, as are bushes that are out in the open as opposed to along a fence or wall. I have seen hummingbirds cleaning the backsides of roses in the garden, lapping up the little varmints I suspect. I am willing to live with some damage to my plants in exchange for an organic garden, but these ones really bug me!


VW said...

Wow, that is good to know. I've seen little green caterpillars on my roses, and lots of green flies (are those the sawflies?). And some of the leaves look just like your picture. Thanks for helping me figure out what the problem is!

Gail said...

I recently picked them off the hibiscus! They work fast, too! Like you I won't it's hand picking for us! gail