Ever walk out to water your flowers and notice in one day an absolute destruction? There are several insects that can do this, but the one we deal with every May or June is the Rose Chafer. The rose chafer, sometimes mistaken for Japanese beetles (which are destructive too) are native to North America and commonly found in the midwest. They are about half an inch long with a mossy or brownish green color, and although they are known to destroy rose petals, we more often find them munching on our beautiful petunia displays.
How to Get Rid of Rose Chafers:
The best way to get rid of them immediately to prevent further damage is to pick them off and destroy the bug itself. They can fly, so you may want to be quick about it. But since they can fly, you can be sure that there will be more to come and visit your precious flowers.
The next method is a preventative. We have found that using a systemic insecticide, one that leaches into the soil and taken up into the plant itself and then kills when the insect starts munching, is a great way for maintaining a protection. Systemic insecticides will also help prevent outbreaks of aphids or thrips which are also detrimental. Insecticide soaps don't seem to do much to beetles because of their body armor.
Depending on how bad your rose chafer infestation is, you may want to also use an insecticide dust, such as Sevin, to kill on contact. The problem of course with these insecticides is that they will also kill the beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies when they come to visit.
So what is the best way? Taking the time and actually pulling the rose chafers off of your flowers and drowning them in a dish of soapy water. Also use a systemic insecticide as preventative, which does not harm the good insects, just the destructive ones.
Good luck and hope these tips will help you combat these little beasts. At least their life cycle is short and the flowers will regrow - especially if you use our fertilizer of course!
Bonide products are available by clicking on the pictures below: