Roses: attacked from two sides

I've mentioned before that I'm not a big rose gardener, but I do have a few varieties of roses in my garden. They're doing pretty well overall -- the blooms are beautiful, and the plants look healthy:




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They look great! Until you take a closer look, and realize that they're being attacked from two sides. The attack from above is by deer:



The deer are doing some pruning for me, as usual. This is not unexpected. One of the "Home Run" roses they're keeping really low though -- it's probably only 2 feet tall or a little taller. This other "Home Run" they're only pruning the front side:


I may have to even it out later in the year.

I can deal with deer damage as long as they don't eat the entire plant. What's a little more worrying is this:



This attack from below is being done by what looks like caterpillars, but they're actually sawfly larvae, also called "roseslugs". As I was looking for these, I also saw this:



The hole in the end of the cane and the sawdust on the leaves below are indications of what is probably a cane borer of some kind. I've seen this every year, and it doesn't seem to be a problem. The roseslugs are usually not a big problem either though, so we'll see.

The larvae are really doing a job on most of my roses this year, especially this third "Home Run":



Ouch. What a mess! Time to get out the insecticidal soap and start spraying I guess. I'm not a big fan of spraying roses or any other plants, but in this case I think I need to step in. As I've said before, I won't use pesticides. Insecticidal soap will do just fine here. (I'm less hesitant to spray at this time of year because the mantises have not hatched yet. I don't want to kill any of those inadvertently.)

Just think, in three or four weeks the Japanese beetles will start their attack on the roses too, so they'll be pruned by deer, defoliated by sawflie larvae, then have their blossoms eaten by the beetles. I better load up on rose photos while they still look good!

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