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Rose Aphid

Macrosiphum rosae

Rose Aphid

A close up of a plant
Macrosiphum rosae auf Rosenknospe by Karl432 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
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Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
Rose Aphid is a sap-sucking bug in the insect family Aphididae. Aphids are close relatives of Whitefly and Scale insects, sharing similar behaviours on plants. Aphids are soft-bodied insects, which feed exclusively on plants. Some aphids can only survive on a small selection of plants; Macrosiphum rosae, for example, will only be found feeding on Roses. The main symptoms to look out for are generally unhappy-looking plants. You may notice the leaves have curled, turned yellow and fallen too soon. Luckily, aphids can be easy to manage. A jet or spray of water with the garden hose can remove most of an infestation. Younger plants should be monitored closely, so infestations are caught early.


Aphid honeydew attract Black-Sooty Moulds and Ants.
Aphids are eaten by a range of predatory insects.


Adults: Aphids can be difficult to detect at first because they're so tiny. Rose Aphids are soft-bodied and roughly 2 mm. They are white-green, but sometimes they can be pinkish-brown. They form dense colonies on areas of new growth. Adults can be winged or wingless. Nymphs: Young aphids are smaller in size, lacking wings.


Dense groupings aphids under the young leaves and tip growth. Leaves curl at the margins. Leaves turn yellow and dry out. Leaves fall prematurely. Ants may be attracted to Honeydew, protecting aphids from predators. Sticky drops of honeydew on leaves. Black sooty moulds on leaves. Disfigured growth.












Biological treatment

The introduction of ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, lacewing larvae and several parasitic wasps in a garden situation will reduce numbers. You can attract these insects by planting pollinator-friendly flowers, or by incorporating insect hotels, grasses, shrubs and trees. Companion planting with strong-smelling herbs such as Basil, Chive, Allium and mint are believed to deter aphid activity. Nasturtium is a brilliant buffer plant which can attract insects away from vegetables and fruits. Aphids aggregate in areas of new growth, so be sure to check in all the nooks of plants, especially under leaves! For heavier infestations, treat plants with a strong jet of water to dislodge the insects from the plant. Alternatively, use a light, soapy mixture sprayed on the plant or even just squashing them. Indoor plants can be rinsed under a tap or shower. A mixture of tomato leaf and distilled water is believed to repel aphids. Once the leaves are drained, dilute the remaining mix with 1-2 cups of water. Tomato plants contain the same allergens as nightshade. It's not advised to use this method if allergic to nightshade. Garlic or chilli-based sprays diluted with water can act as a natural insect repellent. Placing ant traps near infested plants will help to control secondary ant infestations.

Chemical treatment

There are chemical alternatives available for home use and they vary in the degree of persistence and strength. These include organic sprays containing natural pyrethrums; winter washes containing natural plant oils; and lastly, the more persistent chemicals which incorporate synthetic pyrethroids. If a chemical option is sought, check with your local garden centre and please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use. Flowering plants should never be sprayed to protect insect pollinators.


A red rose on a Rosa plant


Rosa spp.


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