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I have had a problem! The last two years something strips all the leaves and new shoots off my plants. Roses are dead now and it is now happening to my Dahlia`s even thou all the old plants have been dug up and soil tilled with new bark chips put on top? Whatever it is loves the roses new shoots very much. I can not see any bugs thou and have tried ant and slug pellets /powder.Even sprays!  Can someone help before my new Dahlia tubers come! 


I'm not clear - is this something that's happening now or did it happen a while back?

It sounds as if it might have been sawfly damage on the roses.

Please explain more about your dahlias - you say they're being eaten although you've dug them up 

It is happening now and the past.Not just roses but Dahlia`s and clematis climbers.

After the roses got stripped this summer the area was dug up and turned over to prepare new bed. I planted a new Dahlia and the leaves are almost gone now again.The roses at first looked like something was eating the leaves but as a new bud came out that also was eaten. Even the old leaves eventually.



Slugs and snails will eat dahlias, but we've had several frost now so dahlia foliage will be dieing down anyway.

Just a thought - whereabouts in Mid Suffolk are you?  Any chance there are any deer getting into your garden?

In Bramford,just outside Ipswich but no deer. The last Dahlia that is going has only been caught by the frost yesterday and the leaves have been eaten before this. Just the leaves not the stems or anything else. Have tried everything.slug pellets.salt,ant powder, rose spray, malathian spray. What ever it is seems invincible to everything I have tried. First the new leaves then the older ones and in the mean time any new buds and finally there is nothing left except stalks? Then death... Mystery


I was wondering if you have earwigs, I've had a big problem with them over the past couple of years in the garden and the greenhouse. They're difficult to spot and they're good at hiding. They do strip off a lot of the leaves and petals. Look out for them, they're an absolute nuisance. Good luck.


Is there any defined shape to the 'nibbling'?  What does a half-eaten leaf look like?

I am sure I can show everyone plenty of eaten leaves! I have heard about earwigs? Never thought they would do that to a garden thou? Anyone know if there is a way to get ride of them. I want my garden to look nice for my wife who loves roses and dahlia`s but they have to have leaves! 



Photos of the damage might help narrow down the culprits 

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Might be worth trying something specifically for earwigs. I tried a powder, sprayed on the leaves, it worked well, it was brilliant to see the new leaves forming.  Not sure about this time of year though, I don't know whether they hide in the winter.


When digging up some potatoes today, I found an earwig about 4 inches down in the soil in a little 'pocket' it had made for itself.  I assume t was a female overwintering, ready to lay it's eggs in the Spring.

Think I will try some for earwigs. Didnt really think they ate leaves? Oh well must get the buggers.

For next year try earwig traps....e.g. Plastic cup stuffed with paper upside down on a cane.  They hide in there.  Earwigs prob worst pest of dahlias and their flowers

Ok thanks Verdum. Will try that and also get some killer if I can. Have ordered about 12 from Thompson and Morgan for a special bed I am making and dont want the buggers to eat them all! 

I found earwigs on my buddleia leaves, eaten completely, pot of strawberries, in the greenhouse, on my apples, especially where two apples are very close together. Oh, you name it they've been there. As I said, I used a powder puffed on the plants, it made a big difference.


Maggie Can you remember what powder it was? Not sure if our local B & Q would have too much but we do have a garden center,good one, in Needham Market.



Hi Mark, I used something by Doff, I found it in my father-in-laws shed, don't know how old it was but it worked. It was labelled Ant Killer, also for cockroaches, earwigs and all crawling insects. I'm sure that there are a lot of products out there that will do the job. My only concern would be if it was to be used on anything that you might want to eat. I can't believe how far ranging those darn things were, they seemed to jump out from anywhere!

Yea tell me about it. Literally ate all my rose plants in the back garden last year so got to find something to stop them. Killed beautiful big rose bushes completely.


Provado ultimate bug killer will work on earwigs or any systemic pest killer.  Wouldn't bother now though.  Hmmmmm!  Not too happy dusting with powder though.  

Not sure about powder. Got 6 cats and they may get into it? Will try provado once spring comes.