Your beautiful roses are dying. They are teaming with greenfly, whitefly, black fly, beetles, and fungi which are eating them alive.
We might love our roses – but so do many pests! Here we look at the best insecticide for roses to defend, prevent, and get rid of those bugs!
- Verdana USDA Organic Cold Pressed Neem Oil
- Monterey LG6130 Garden Insect Spray
- Garden Safe Brand Insecticidal Soap Insect Killer, Ready-to-Use
- Bayer Advanced All In One Rose & Flower Care
- Bonide (BND442) – Eight Insect Control
Roses are robust, hardy plants – but a host of insects and fungi can destroy them. From holes in leaves to black spot, to flowers eaten from the inside – your roses are at risk. When choosing the best insecticide for your roses, you need to be guided by which pest is most active.
Ecological factors are also crucial. Many pesticides for roses will kill beneficial creatures and active pollinators, including bees. The declining bee population is of serious concern since about one-third of our food requires pollination at some stage.
If the pesticide is certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) or labeled as non- genetically (non-GMO) modified you can be sure that this insecticide for roses is safer than others. Always keep an eye out for this!
Some common rose pests to defend against:
Often called greenfly or blackfly aphids can be green or black or yellow but they are not actually flies.
Aphids are easy to see, and one or two will not harm your roses. However, they can reproduce astonishingly fast, so you need to get rid of them before they do become a huge problem and distort your rose leaves.
Insecticidal soap will kill on contact – make sure you cover the whole plant.
Black spot on rose leaves
Black spot is a fungus. The spores hang around for overwinter, and warm moist weather helps them germinate. Small black spots spread and can turn the entire leaf yellow and dead.
Neem oil or sulfur is best – but you also need a thorough clean up around your roses.
Rose rust is another fungus spread by wind-born spores. It only occurs on roses but is less common than black spot or powdery mildew – and causes less of a problem.
Cercospora Leaf Spot of Roses
Lighter and smaller than black spot this is another fungal disease.
Treat with fungicide – much in the same way as black spot on roses is treated.
Very destructive, voracious insects. They are green/bronze in color and munch their way through your roses, making big holes in rosebush leaves and destroying the flowers.
Both pyrethrin or neem kill Japanese beetle – or handpick them off your rosebush if you only see the odd one.
This fungus likes it hot and dry. You can see the rose leaves pucker and a white coating on the rose leaves and stems.
As with black spot, powdery mildew is a fungal disease that lies dormant until the right conditions appear. For powdery mildew, those conditions would be hot, dry days with cool, moist nights.
These little weevils feed on flower buds – and deposit their eggs inside the flower, which then opens to a ragged holy bloom.
A severe problem best treated with a broad-spectrum insecticide.
Rose and Pear Slugs
Rose and pear slugs are not slugs, they are sawflies, but they do secrete a slime, and they do feed on rose bush leaves.
You will find your rose leaves have holes in them. Sopas and neem are effective in treating them, and the synthetic insecticides will kill them, too. Many natural predators will feed on the sawflies.
Thrips eat your flowers, your rosebuds look distorted and the leaves curl up.
It is hard to reach thrips as they live inside your rosebuds. Natural predators help control them, so we don’t advise chemical insecticides that kill them as well.
What should you look for when choosing the best insecticide for your roses
These are some of the considerations you might want to take into account:
- Soap, oil, or synthetic chemicals?
- How effective your roses pest control?
- What is your primary target?
- Ecological and environmental issues
- How safe is the insecticide?
- How long does the pesticide work for – and how fast does it act?
- How easy is it to apply?
In all cases, before you apply your knockout treatment for those pesky bugs eating your rose’s leaves, it’s advisable to first…
Tidy up the ground around the rose bushes, remove mulch if you want to use a drench, and pick off visible beetles. And when you use a rose insect spray, remember the underside of the leaves.
Neem tree oil is an excellent roses insecticide, and fungus killer. Soap made from potassium salts weakens the insect skin and controls aphids and possible thrips well.
Spinosad is derived from the fermentation of bacteria. It is great for killing leafminers, thrips, flies, and caterpillars – and it is OMRI certified.
Chemical pesticides are powerful insect killers and often kill the very ones who would help control the rose bush pests as well. Used when all else fails, they can be very effective. Many contain imidacloprid, which works against the Japanese beetle or permethrin to which bees are very sensitive. Sevin(carbaryl) is another potent insect killer.
As ever, it is best to apply the favored rose insecticide as soon as you notice the holes in leaves or the black spots appearing. And don’t forget, you may need several applications.
Rose Insecticide Reviews
Verdana USDA Organic Cold Pressed Neem Oil 16 Fl. Oz
A safe insecticide – also good for hair and skincare <<change this
This product contains Neem oil concentrate. This extract from neem seeds contains Azadirachtin, which is a powerful rose insecticide and is registered as non-GMO.
Non-GMO means the oil has not been genetically modified in a laboratory, and many scientists consider that GMOs have both health and environmental risks.
Despite being an ingredient used for skin and hair care products, it kills over 200 insects – including those that attack your roses, like aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites.
How it works? It stops the insect feeding, repels them and sterilizes them. Italso interrupts the molting of the insect, meaning that the immature larvae cannot develop. Yet it is deemed safe for your children or your pets.
PLUS, Neem oil is ideal for preventing fungal diseases of your roses like rust, powdery mildew, and black spot.
AND this insecticide is safe for bees.
- Safe for mammals, birds, plants, and bees
- Non-toxic – aquatic life is safe
- Can kill over 200 insects
- 100% organic
- No residue
- Might smell of garlic
Monterey LG6130 Garden Insect Spray, Insecticide & Pesticide with Spinosad
Safe for the environment, Monterey LG6135 is an OMRI certified organic insecticide.No products found.
Monterey Garden Insect spray is derived by fermentation from a natural bacterium called Spinosad. Spinosad gives great rose pest control as it kills many of the bugs on roses. It acts quickly to get rid of the bugs that eat roses.
Spinosad is a very powerful insect killer. It disrupts the insect’s nervous system after the bug eats or comes in contact with it, causing death within a couple of days (although it might be slightly less effective for aphids). It works very well against the destructive Japanese beetle, and thrips, and sawflies.
Monterey LG6135 comes ready to spray – you just have to fit your garden hose to the hose-end sprayer attached to the insecticide container.
- Children and pets are safe
- OMRI certified
- Effective for most rose pests
- Possibly less effective against aphids
- Need to take care to spray all areas of the roses
Garden Safe Brand Insecticidal Soap Insect Killer, Ready-to-Use
OMRI listed – contact insecticide, ready to use spray.No products found.
This insecticide is great for roses as it kills bugs on roses such as aphids, mites, leafhoppers, psyllids, scale insects, thrips, whiteflies and more.
The spray is safe to use in gardens, greenhouses, and indoors and contains specific soaps produced from plants that kill rose pests on contact.
It rapidly penetrates the insect’s soft body, leading to disruption of the cell membrane and rapid death – and it kills the adult, the larva, and the nymph stages of the insect growth.
The formula is long-lasting and dries quickly. It is one of the best organic insecticidal soap sprays, and it is an OMRI and NOP listed product.
Garden Safe brand also sells a concentrate – but be aware that this is very concentrated and likely to burn your plants if mixed incorrectly.
- Kills on contact
- OMRI and NOP listed
- Ready to use no mixing required
- Safe for bees, children, and pets
- If you buy the concentrate beware of burning our plants if not mixed correctly
Bayer Advanced All In One Rose & Flower Care
Three products in one – insecticide, fungicide, and fertilizer
This is a concentrate used as a drench, you never spray it over your roses, you mix it with water and pour it over the base of your rose bush.
It contains imidacloprid (which is lethal to bees) and tebuconazole. It will get rid of bugs on roses, controlling Japanese beetles, aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars.
The pesticide will also get rid of black spot, rust, and powdery mildew. With the effects last for up to six weeks.
It penetrates every part of the plant and you must never use this on edible plants. It’s poisonous to aquatic life and a danger to you if you swallow it or absorb it through your skin.
(Other brands which contain imidacloprid include Ortho and Bonide)
- Three actions – insecticide, fungicide, and fertilizer
- Kills and controls a wide variety of rose pests
- Easy to use as it does not involve spraying
- Highly toxic to mammals, aquatic life – and bees
Bonide (BND442) – Eight Insect Control for Vegetable, Fruit, and Flower, Insecticide/Pesticide Concentrate
A dual-action pesticide for roses – quick-acting and long-lasting
This insecticide contains permethrin, which is a powerful bug killer.
It’s particularly important to read the instructions thoroughly and follow them with this powerful rose bush spray.
If you spray on a calm night during the hours of darkness the bees will hopefully be sleeping in their hives and safe.
However, this rose pest insecticide will protect your roses, and one application can last up to four weeks. It works for mites, aphids, ants, scales, beetles, leaf miners, and over 130 listed bug species.
- Kills over 130 pests
- Quick-acting and long-lasting
- Children and pets are safe once the product has dried completely
- Very toxic to bees and aquatic creatures
- Do not allow runoff
- You need to mix it
- Avoid contact or accidental inhalation of the spray
Looking after your roses can be a challenge – but one that is well rewarded. Choosing the best insecticide for roses depends on the pest.
However, in general terms, we strongly advise using a natural oil or soap product to save synthetic and powerful insecticides as a last resort.
Our first choice is Verdana USDA Organic Cold Pressed Neem Oil. It not only smells nice but also kills most of your rose pests and is effective against fungus.
If you have a very heavy infestation, especially of the Japanese beetle, the Bonide Insect Control Concentrate is a powerful insecticide. The drawback is unrestrained toxicity to beneficial insects (such as bees).
So, our recommendation is to save the bees, use a natural product like Neem oil, and enjoy your roses with an environmentally clear conscience!