A crop of roses is a delicious treat for many species of insects and mites. Fortunately, crops that grow well naturally have a certain level of resilience to pests. Nevertheless, it is advisable to be prepared for the main threats. Thrips and spider mites are right at the top of the list!
Various types of thrips exist, but they all employ the same strategy: to puncture plant cells and suck them dry. Furthermore, they can transmit viruses. The Western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) appears most frequently worldwide. In addition, the type of thrips causing the most problems differs per region.
This pest presents a tricky problem worldwide. Spider mites can spread rapidly, and you need to nip the problem in the bud quickly. One upside is that this can quite often be done with natural enemies.
The name is misleading as this species is not a fly but an insect related to aphids. The whitefly punctures cells and sucks them dry. It also injects enzymes into the plant that can cause side effects, such as yellow discoloration. In addition, the whitefly transmits viruses. There are two whitefly species, but Trialeurodes vaporariorum is the most common.
Aphids come in all types of species and sizes. They remove nutrients from the plant and disturb the hormone balance, resulting in growth disorders like deformed leaves and flower buds. The aphids also secrete honeydew, making the crop sticky and forming a basis for fungus to grow. And the trouble does not end there, as aphids also transmit viruses.
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. They can feed on large amounts of leaves, causing damage to the crop in this way. The species of caterpillar causing problems differs per country and region.
There are also several variants of this insect. Mealybugs suck the sap out of plants and weaken them. The sugars in the sap are secreted out again by the bugs and form honeydew on which fungi start to grow. The presence of mealy bugs can significantly affect a product’s ornamental value, even if the population is not yet that large.
The six pests mentioned above are those that occur most frequently. Depending on the region and operating conditions, scale insects, mites, cicadas, and capsid bugs are other insects that are frequently responsible for causing frustration among rose growers.
A helping hand for crops
As mentioned earlier, a flourishing crop that experiences little stress has a natural resilience against pests. In most cases, however, you will need to help your crops with IPM. Koppert can supply the natural enemies needed to combat all the pests mentioned above. However, it is always advisable to take measures at an early stage. This is because it takes a certain amount of time to build a biological balance between natural enemies and pests. In short, a good start is half the battle!