NC State Extension Publications

Description and Biology

Skip to Description and Biology

Rose aphids, Macrosiphum rosae, were originally described in Europe, but are now found throughout the United States except in the arid Southwest. This large (almost 1/8 inch) aphid has long, dark legs, antennae, and cornicles. Rose aphids are pink, purplish, or green, and adults may have wings or not. Nymphs resemble wingless adults (except they are smaller than adults). Both green and pink forms occur in the nymphal stages. Rose aphids feed on on tender shoots and buds. High populations reduce quality and quantity of flowers. The entire life cycle may be spent on one host plant. Live young are born throughout the growing season. In late fall, a generation of males and females is produced. These mate, and females then lay eggs on the rose canes. The eggs survive the winter. In spring as new growth resumes, the eggs hatch and the tiny nymphs begin to feed.

Rose aphids

Rose aphids are green pink, reddish, or purplish.

Host Plants

Skip to Host Plants

Rose aphids feed mostly on rose but sometimes on pyracantha.

Residential Recommendations

Skip to Residential Recommendations

Parasitic wasps, lady beetles, and green lacewing adults and larvae prey upon the rose aphid. Except in cool weather, these biological control agents may keep the rose aphid population completely in check. Rose aphids do not seem to be resistant to pesticides. Should they become too abundant, Insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils and imidacloprid insecticides are labeled for roses and should give more than adequate control.

Syrphid maggot

Syrphid maggots and other predators feed on rose aphids.

References

Skip to References

For assistance with a specific problem, contact your local Cooperative Extension Center.

This Factsheet has not been peer reviewed.

Author

Professor Emeritus
Entomology

Publication date: May 20, 2016
Revised: Oct. 11, 2019

N.C. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status.