Pest identification

Asked May 24, 2018, 9:55 AM EDT

Attacking a photo of the little green caterpillars running rampant in my roses for the first time this year. And one of the eating damage presumedly caused by them. Thanks!

Washington County Oregon aphids syrphid fly rose

3 Responses

Good news! The small green worm-like insect is not a caterpillar. It is a flower fly larva (youngster) and does not damage leaves. These small insects are beneficial because they help limit aphids, those small, roundish particles scattered on the leaves and tip growth. See "Syrphid , flower, or hover flies" http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/NE/syrphid_flies.html.

The dry, slightly brown edges around the leaf damage indicate that the damage is old. If critters were still feeding on the leaves, you would see fresh green edges.

The key to limiting leaf damagers is to keep an eye on your plants, then look for the culprits as soon as you see damage. Sometimes the insects feed from the undersides of the leaves, sometimes they only feed at night. Common troublemakers include caterpillars , slugs, and snails. See "Snails and Slugs" - http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7427.html.


Thank you! But, Oh NO... I've been squishing these guys! Good to know they're their to help. Hopefully their relatives will forgive me. ^_^

Believe it's said to be something like "live and learn."

You might like to review this info also: Common Natural Enemies in the NW - https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec1613_0.pdf