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Rose Curculio

FAST FACTS - ROSE CURCULIOS
by Nanette Londeree, Master Rosarian

SIGNS

  • Adult insect 0.25 inch in length, bright lacquer red flight wing covers and thorax, and a black head with a long black snout
  • Adult feeding on the buds and petals of roses, and other plants in the rose family (blackberries, raspberries)
  • Legless, small (less than a quarter inch), whitish larvae

    SYMPTOMS

    Rose Curculio Damage

  • Ragged rose blossoms
  • Holes in flower buds; deformed flower buds; buds that may not open at all
  • New growth (terminals) die
  • Gouges in bud stems, causing the bud to wilt and then die
  • Rose stems with “bent neck” - damage to the stem below the bud, causing it to bend over
  • Damage to the reproductive parts of the flower

    CAUSE

  • The rose curculio or rose weevil, in the family Merhynchites bicolor; they go through a complete metamorphosis

    OPTIMAL CONDITIONS

  • Mid-spring to summer, roses with new growth, especially yellow or light colored flowers
  • Eggs are laid in bites made by the female in developing flowers in late May and June
  • Larvae (grubs) fall to the soil and pupate the following spring
  • A single annual generation emerge as adults in late spring to early summer

    TREATMENT

    Prevention:

  • Avoid yellow and white roses apparently preferred by the beetle
  • Prune out and remove finished flowers to remove larvae, which can help reduce future problems

    Elimination:

  • Handpick adults; when bothered, adults fall from the plant, so gently shake flowers over a bucket or tray of soapy water to collect fallen adults
  • Destroy damaged flowers, buds and stems
  • Broad-spectrum synthetic pesticide, such as carbaryl (Sevin) or acephate (Orthene) can be applied when adults are seen if infestations are severe

    GOOD GUY / BAD GUY?

  • For most Rosarians, a real bad guy that can do a lot of damage to rose blooms if not kept under control

  • Photo of the Rose Curculios at the top of the page is by Baldo Villegas from the extraordinary website: http://members.tripod.com/buggyrose/irosepests.htm


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    Last Modified: 08/06/2013