By far the most common problem then growing roses. Thick colonies of insects found on the new shoots and buds in early spring and sometimes autumn. They suck into the shoots, can distort the flowers and leaves, also leaving a sticky residue on the leaves. This attracts ants which ‘milk’ the aphids for the ‘honey dew’ residue. Ants move the insects to other parts of the bush spreading them wider.

To control easiest is to squirt the insects off with water jet from the garden hose, or throw soapy water over the insects. Rub off small colonies with your fingers. Natural predators will help reduce these pests – Parasitic Wasp, Ladybirds and their nymphs, hoverflies, and birds all control these insects very well.  It does take around 10 days for natural predators to build up their numbers to be able to control. Other options are ’Pest-Oil’ (not white oil) or ‘Eco-Pest Oil’ (a vegetable oil) which all coat the insect with oil and suffocate them, soapy water does also. As a last resort a chemical spray can be used however please remember to spray with a chemical can kill natural predators as well.

Nature does a lot to help reduce aphids – wind blows them off, rain washes them off, but the little predators are our best friends in the rose garden.