Deciduous Tree and Shrub Disorder: Skeletonizing by Rose Chafer

Author(s): R.C. Williamson, C.F. Koval

Skeletonizing of the leaves of roses, raspberries, grapes, fruit trees, and many other cultivated trees and shrubs may be caused by the adult rose chafer, Macrodactylus subspinosus (Fabricius). Adult beetles are attracted to flower blossoms, particularly roses and peonies.

Damage occurs in June and tends to be most severe in areas of light sandy soil, which is preferred by the larvae. Heavy or clay soils hamper rose chafer growth and development. For this reason the insects have been a greater problem in the central and east-central parts of the state. In addition, birds and small mammals can die from eating adult rose beetles. Where farm animals are allowed to roam, note that rose chafers are toxic to chickens.

This fact sheet details the rose chafer, the damage it can cause, and effective means of control (2 pages).

University of Wisconsin-Extension