Rose chafer beetles

June is a great month for wonderful flowering plants like roses and peonies.   For a rose chafer, it is a great month for feeding on blooms of the roses and peonies.  The adult stage of the chafer also feeds on grape flowers and leaves, foliage of mountain-ash, crabapples, hydrangea, elm, elder, wisteria and many herbaceous perennials.  Feeding damage turns leaves into a lace-like appearance as the chafer chews on leaf tissue between the veins and on flowers their feeding causes large irregular holes.

The adult rose chafer is almost half an inch in length with hard wings that do not quite cover the abdomen.  It has a pale green to tan color with reddish-brown spiny legs.  Look for adult chafers as beautybush and European cranberry viburnum are blooming.  They begin feeding in June and continue for about two weeks with few chafers left by early July. 

Management of this pest can include hand-picking, protecting plants with floating row covers during peak periods of chafer feeding, or spraying once with Tempo or Sevin.  Follow label directions whenever using any pesticides. 

*Information obtained through MSU’s Landscape Alert written by Diane Brown and Dave Smitley with additional information from University of Minnesota Extension’s Jeffrey Hahn.

Rose chafer Rose chafer
Left, Rose chafer. Photo credit: Tom Murray.
Right, Rose chafer on grape leaves. Photo credit: Duke Elsner, MSUE.

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