You Bet Your Garden

Slithering sawflies

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June 16, 2012 — They look like little caterpillars or slugs, but leaf-chewing sawflies are actually baby wasps. Mike McGrath reveals how to protect your roses and other plants from this unusual foe. Plus your fabulous phone calls!

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Question of the Week

Every spring for the last ten years, some kind of fly or bee inserts an egg into the new soft growth of my hybrid tea roses. It hatches quickly and the larval stage proceeds to spiral downward through the tissue, girdling it. The end result is a drooping, and soon dead, cane. By carefully slicing the damaged portion open I have found the larvae. Is it a sawfly? A rose slug? It’s about an eighth of an inch long. Pyola seems to help. Any other suggestions? Get the answer »

Photo by Flickr user Jason A. Samfield

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