Rose Slug

Rose Pest

rose slug

A rose slug, is a nasty little rose pest . These small green worms are unwelcome bugs on roses.

The slug-like worms are up to 3/4 inches long, with a brown head. They are actually (sawfly larvae). They are pale green to metallic green in color. Some have hairs on their body, and others appear wet and slimy.

This slug is the larvae of black and yellow wasps called sawflies. The adult wasp, lays her eggs in the Spring between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves on the edges, with a saw-like egg-laying organ.

roseslug damage to rose leavesDamage to the leaves

These rose pests feed on leaves, eating between the veins of the leaves, as they skeletonize it. The lacy translucent layer of tissue that remains, turns brown.

Later, as they mature, some varieties  will chew holes in the leaf or devour it entirely. Mature larvae fall to the ground, burrow into the soil, and construct cells in which to spend the winter.


If you see little green caterpillar looking bugs on your rose plants they are NOT welcome bugs! Remove them promptly!

Don't confuse them with caterpillars; they are slugs!

Solution to the Rose Slug Problem

What's the correct 'organic' way to deal with the little buggers?

Hand pick them off! They are very easy to remove from the leaves (check the undersides). Pick them off and destroy them.

You might also try washing them off with a stream of water, but don't do this late in the day, because you don't want the leaves to stay wet through the night. Be sure to destroy any you wash off, or they'll climb right back up the plant.

Note; Since I have some bushes with this problem, I'm going to try dusting one bush with cornmeal. (I read somewhere that this organic method works by suffocating them) I'll report back on my findings!

On another bush, I've mixed up some cannola oil with dish soap and water; I sprayed the whole bush, and ground below......I'll keep you posted....

If you have dealt with this problem, and have an organic solution, I'd like to hear from you! Please share your solution! Thanks!

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