Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pest News for July 23rd


From: Steve Frank, Extension Entomologist

Rose Rosette Disease

I have had several clinic samples of rose rosette disease this year. It is believed to be caused by a virus transmitted by tiny eriophyid mites. The disease causes unusual symptoms on rose bushes including rapid growth, deformed shoots and buds, dense areas of soft spines, witches broom and others. The symptoms are highly variable and depend on rose cultivar and other unknown factors. The important thing to recognize is that unusual growth symptoms may indicate the disease, that there is no cure for the disease and very little effective control for the mites. Infected plants should be discarded and as much roots and other tissue removed from the site as possible. This disease also attacks exotic multiflora roses. Though no one would shed a tear about that multiflora rose, it can be a reservoir on your property, which is another good reason to kill the multiflora rose.

Flea Beetles Abound

Flea beetles of all kinds are active this time of year. I have seen them on many kinds of plants almost in every landscape I look in. Flea beetle damage is very characteristic and looks like tiny shot holes in the foliage. The beetles themselves are generally tiny and shiny black though there are many species. They generally jump when you approach. Though you will not necessarily be able to determine exactly which flea beetle you have since there are so many kinds. Some are fairly host specific or at least are primarily a pest on some hosts even if they feed widely. An ornamental example includes the red headed flea beetle (

June Beetles are Flying

This week we saw the first June beetles in Raleigh. I have not seen many except the poor critter in this picture but others have reported more. They are not much of a threat to plants. The grubs feed on turf but rarely to the extent that damage is seen. The adults will feed on ripening fruit such as grapes but are only out a couple weeks so it is best to just wait.

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.