Scouting for pests: Rose chafer

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included

Rose chafer: Macrodactylus subspinosis (view images)

Rose, flowering cherry, crabapple, hydrangea, elm, elder, wisteria and several herbaceous perennials. The larvae overwinter as grubs in the soil, pupate in early spring and emerge in June. Look for adults as beautybush and European cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus) are blooming. Grubs feed on the roots of grasses, weeds, trees and shrubs, and are found in sandy soil. Rose chafers particularly favor feeding on rose flowers. Leaves skeletonized by rose chafers look very similar to those damaged by Japanese beetles.

Floating row covers or netting may be used as barriers to protect plants, but may not be practical where plants are large or numerous. A pheromone trap specific for rose chafer is commercially available. This insect has few natural enemies and is poisonous to birds. Target the adult stage with a registered insecticide

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