HAVE a rose problem. I've spotted a little caterpillar getting inside
the leaves and sticking them together with its cocoon. It's eating
the leaves quite quickly and I can't find it in any of my rose books.
looks like the problem is leafroller caterpillar, of which there
are several different types. The caterpillar is the larvae of a
moth which can attack a wide variety of plants, ranging from fruiting
and ornamental trees to perennials and shrubs.
They're not a common
problem of roses but will feed on them if that's where the female
moth chooses to lay its eggs. The newly hatched caterpillar then
folds over a leaf to build a shelter where it settles down to feed,
safe from the weather and predators such as birds. Fortunately,
they're seldom present in sufficient numbers to do a lot of damage
to roses, but if they are problem, a spray such as Shield (which
contains a fungicide as well), Maldison or Carbaryl should control
them. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label. Or you
could check your plants regularly for the tell-tale signs of folded
over leaves and simply squeeze them to kill its leaf-eating occupant.
Gardener, Issue 135, 2003, Page 27
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.