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I recently bought a rose bush for the first time and planted it in a large pot according to the instructions on the label. It has been about a month since then, the first yellow rose has started to bloom.

However, I recently noticed that there was a small hole in the woody part of the bush, near the bottom. There were also wood shavings and bits on the soil directly above it. My brother told me that he saw black insects that looked like ants with wings crawl into the hole. What are these insects, are they harmful, and if they are, how do I remove them?

I am only 17, but I like the idea of planting roses, so I would like to keep my first rose bush alive and as healthy as possible. I have little gardening experience though, so please answer in detail (as I may not understand the terms or whatnot).

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    Sounds like Rose stem borer... not a rose expert. – Fiasco Labs Jun 20 '15 at 4:06
  • If you can provide a picture, that should help a lot. – Shule Jun 20 '15 at 6:49
  • @Shule Unfortunately, I do not have have a picture of the insect. I have never actually seen it, but my brother says it was like an "ant with black wings". I do have a picture of the hole, if that helps in anyway... imgur.com/kMDTIq7 – James Leung Jun 20 '15 at 15:50
  • The hole might help. – Shule Jun 20 '15 at 22:19
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    I'm not an expert on roses, either, but the hole looks just like the holes from rose stem borers. I think Fiasco Labs is right. See these pics: google.com/… – Shule Jun 22 '15 at 21:39
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Looks like Rose Cane Borer damage. First, remove the cane that was infested, and cut down to clean pith. The rose will regrow quickly. It's best to cut back before the larvae emerge, because then you destroy them.

In the future, fertilize regularly and maintain a healthy soil. A healthy plant is resilient, and fights off pests much better than an 'average' plant. Another thing to note: The adults feed on aphids and the like, so keeping those types of pests off your roses can help a lot in the prevention.

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