The adult Fuller rose beetle is known for causing distinctive scalloped edges to the leaves of roses, lilac, citrus, avocado, and many other landscape and garden plants.
Fuller rose beetles are also known as Fuller’s rose weevil. They feed on many ornamental and edible plants, such as carnations, begonias, lilies, persimmon, apple, apricot, strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry.
Identifying Fuller rose beetles
Adult Fuller rose beetles are grayish-brown insects with long snouts, similar to vegetable weevils (but with a more rounded snout) and harmless cribbage weevils (but with more widely spaced, bulging eyes). The beetles are approximately 1/3 inch long. The larva can grow to 1/2 inch and are white with a yellowish head and black jaws. The current scientific name is Pantomorus cervinus, but it has also been called Naupactus cervinus, Asynonychus godmanni, and several others, due to scientific debate and these pests being found in several locations.
Each year masses of yellowish, cylindrical eggs are laid on fruit and in the nooks and crannies of bark and covered with a white sticky material. When these eggs hatch, the larvae drop to the ground, where they feed on the roots for 6 to 10 months or more. After causing damage below ground, the larvae pupate for a couple of months in the soil before emerging as adult beetles, which then climb up and start feeding on the leaves, damaging the aboveground portion of the plant. All Fuller rose beetles are female and they reproduce without mating.
Damage caused by Fuller rose beetles
The most obvious damage caused by these pests is the scalloped edge seen on the leaves. While this damage is primarily cosmetic, it does indicate damage being done to the roots. The combined effects can reduce the overall health of affected plants.
How to control Fuller rose beetles
Since adult beetles must climb the tree or shrub to continue their lifecycle, the easiest control measure is to use sticky barriers to block that climb. Also, be sure to trim back any stems or branches that allow foliage to touch the ground. Beetle activity is highest in July, August and September.
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