Sunday, May 17, 2009


In a little over a week, this flowering bush went from this:

to this

thanks to the caterpillar-like stage of some sort of sawfly. I haven't found an image on the web of the exact one I found on this bush, but I can tell it definitely isn't a true caterpillar (as in a creature that will turn into a butterfly) because it has too many legs.

There are many different kinds of sawflies, apparently, and they are quite a pest. There are birch sawflies, rose sawflies, cedar sawflies, pine sawflies, and many more. They can be controlled organically by hand-picking or by using a soap and water mixture. I went for the hand-picking method this morning and picked many of them off this bush, despite the recent rain that probably knocked some to the ground. I also was able to spot many of them on the ground and on the grass, as well as finding them on our grapevine. This afternoon I'll have to go check on some of our other trees and bushes in an effort to stop this pest.

I think the bush is a cherokee rose. If you think otherwise, let me know, as it is a tentative ID and I'd like to know for sure what it is. Hopefully it will recover from being completely stripped. The little bit of green in the bush on the picture's lower right-hand side is a volunteer oak. So far they are (were) crawling all over it but haven't been eating it.

*The title of the post is a song by Christina Aguilera, in a nod to Annie of Edifice Rex and her post naming method.


countrypeapie said...

We have a bush like that in our front yard, and I've always wondered what it was. Good luck with the pest control!

Rurality said...

Dang! I'm not familiar with that bush, but I hope it will come back after being so heinously stripped!