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Chewed rose buds and leaves

There are holes in the buds of my roses and irregularly shaped holes on the ends and in the middle of the leaves. What can be causing this and how can I get rid of it?


This is likely to be either katydids or New Zealand's native stick insect. The stick insects feed on a wide range of plants from kanuka to manuka to roses, and they do so with great gusto. They usually feed at night, so sometimes you'll have to go out with a torch to find them.

The adult female drops her eggs on the ground, and out of the eggs come her babies. They will climb up the same rose as well, so in some cases you can have hundreds of little baby stick insects, which all grow bigger, feeding on your roses. Then you've got a problem.

So once you've got your eye in to find these very cryptically coloured stick insects, all you have to do is pick them up and take them to the park up the road and release them in a nice native tree.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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Last updated: June 27, 2005