Rose Root Aphid

Maculolachnus submacula

Rose Root Aphid

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Rose Root Aphids are plant-specific; they will only be found infesting wild and cultivated roses. They are most active within the soil media, where they feed on the roots. It's sometimes possible to see these insects on the stems of the host plant, although, this isn't always the case. In winter, black-shiny eggs are laid over the stems of roses, and its often this point a gardener notices these bugs. It may look unsightly, but these aphids don't seem to affect vigour in the host. An infestation would probably go unnoticed if the eggs were absent!
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Traits

They have a strong association with ant colonies which farm aphids for honeydew.
Food for soil-dwelling predators such as centipedes, beetles and predatory mites.

Appearance

Adults: These aphids are seldom seen because they tend to concentrate within the soil media where they suck the sap from roots. Additionally, the heavier infestations seem to attract ants. So if the colony begins feeding on the rose stems, the ants start to cover surface colonies with soil to aid their protection. It's sometimes possible to see the females above ground when it's around the time for egg-laying, or if an infestation is particularly heavy. They're around 2-3mm (tiny!) and dark brown. The eggs are usually the most recognised symptom. These are tiny black-shiny and elongate (1-2mm) and can be found encircling the rose stems.

Symptoms

Aphids can form mutually beneficial relationships with ants. Ants may be evident near the infested plant. Ants protect aphids from predators, allowing populations to populations to grow more quickly. Rose stems may be covered in small, black-shiny eggs.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hemiptera

Family

Aphididae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

Europe eastward to Ukraine, Kazakhstan and India

Biological treatment

If the eggs are causing concern, then they can be removed and disposed of appropriately by the gardener. The introduction of ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, lacewing larvae and several parasitic wasps in a garden situation will reduce numbers. These can be attracted into the area by planting pollinator-friendly flowers, or the inclusion of insect hotels. Likewise, keeping corners of the garden 'wild' will provide refuge for beneficial wildlife to pass through with ease. It's advised to research carefully, as many commercially-bought hotels can do more damage than good. Keeping the soil healthy will make conditions desirable for beneficial soil-dwelling insects, which will eat rose root aphids.

Chemical treatment

Unfortunately, there are currently no chemical treatments available for home gardeners that will give effective control over this pest.

Attracts

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