spinosad for sawfly/roseslug - success

fgilles02420(z6 MA)June 25, 2007

Last year I posted here about a significant problem I was having with my roses: the leaves would end up lacy, brown, skeletonized and the plant would eventually defoliate, although I would never see any visible insects. Several people pointed to the rose sawfly or roseslug larvae as the likely culprit. It wasn't at all uniform - different roses had remarkably different susceptibility to this pest, the most vulnerable being "William Baffin".

This year as soon as the damage began to appear I did a single application of Spinosad in May(this was before any flowers had appeared so no bees were around). It stopped the damage in its tracks; I left one plant unsprayed as a control and it is now almost leafless.

So, can others add their opinions? Does this pest(s) breeze through in the spring and then disappear for the year making second applications unnecessary? Would you recommend other alternatives (hort oil, soap?) as equally effective?

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What exactly is Spinosad? Is there a brand name for it? It is organic?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 6:03PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Many companies are marketing products with Spinosad as the primary active ingredient. Yes, it is organic. It's a biological bacterium agent that primarily affects chewing insects.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 3:09PM
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I've tried Rose Pharm spray, and I think it did help. It contains peppermint oil and glycerin.

I recently started using Jungle Rain Clean Leaf Spray for the occasional Japanese Beetle, it might work on sawfly as well.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 5:25PM
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Dusting with kitchen flour might be something to try.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 5:35PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Spinosad is certified organic by most organic farming regulators. It is a relatively specific insecticide that is most active against sawflies, caterpillars, and thrips, but I wouldn't apply it to open flowers because it is somewhat active against bees.

Rose slugs in my garden are generally controlled by wasps picking them off. Also you can just wipe the underside of infested leaves. Spraying spinosad could be useful on large plants that are susceptible. Brands include Bulls Eye, Fertilome Bagworm Borer, and Monterrey.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 5:31PM
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