Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata) Adult rose chafers are tan and slender with a reddish head and long, spiny, reddish legs (8 to 13 mm in length). The female is somewhat more robust than the male. Rose chafer eggs are oval, shiny, white, and 1 to 2 mm long. The larvae look like white grubs but are smaller (up to 18 mm in length) and more slender. Rose chafer pupae are light yellow-brown and 16 mm long.
These pests are found primarily in the northeastern United States, but they also occur south to North Carolina and west to Colorado. They prefer the flowers of roses and peonies, new grapes, and the leaves of grapes. Larvae will feed on the roots of turf, weeds, and nursery stock. Rose chafers feed upon a variety of hosts and are poisonous to chickens and birds when eaten.
Control: Handpicking is an excellent control method for small numbers of rose chafers (two or less per plant).
A temporary barrier made from cheesecloth or row netting, around and slightly higher than the host plants, may offer some control. Rose chafers seldom fly over the barrier and onto the plants. Take the barrier down after the late spring feeding phase of the adult beetle is over.
Rose chafers may be found in May or June, eating large irregular holes in blossoms, fruits and leaves of a wide variety of plants.
Photo courtesy of Clemson University Department of Entomology, Soils & Plant Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service.
For control products and more information please see our Pest Beetle Control page.