Rose Midges are the larva of a tiny yellowish fly that usually appears in mid to late summer. (It is pictured on the top of the rose stem)
Females lay eggs on the tips of the new growth, flower buds, and leaves as they unfold. They usually lay 20-30 eggs per bud.
In about 2 days, the eggs hatch and the larvae feed on tender tissue, causing the damage you see on the rose plant.
Once mature the larvae drop to the ground to pupate. New adults appear in 5-7 days to lay more eggs and the cycle continues.
If you look at the above picture, you will see that the stem tip is wilted over and dead. You will also notice the dark black part of the stem that appears to have been burned. (it looks like a burnt match stick).
If the stem started to produce a bud, it will be tiny, or deformed, and will not mature to a flower.
You should cut off and destroy the infected stem tips and buds. (Cut back to the healthy growth)
See the new growth just above the leaflet? Make the cut just above that.
My organic solution is to spray the bush after removing all the damage.
I make my own organic spray from Canola oil, dish soap and water. I don't really have a specific recipe, I just put a squirt of dish soap in a spray bottle, (a cheap plastic one from the dollar store), and I add a couple tablespoons of Canola Oil. (You could use Horticultural Oil), and fill it with warm water. Then in early morning I spray the bush, and the ground around it.
I spray every few days for a week.
Caution; Before you try this on your own rose bushes, do a test on the bush by spraying a few leaves first. Some roses do not like being sprayed with oil at all! Never spray in the really hot part of the day (full sun), and make sure the bush is well watered before you spray!
Keep your eyes open for this rose pest, and deal with it as soon as possible.
Do you have an Organic Control for Rose Midges?
Won't you share it with us! Tell us your story, and how you deal with these rose pests!