How to Kill Sawfly Larvae Naturally

Sawfly larvae are not fun things! We found out they have been eating my mother’s roses up in Montana. How did we know? We caught the culprit red handed. We then googled what could be eating our leaves, and through google images found a few blogs about these creatures.

We didn’t want to start spraying for a couple of reasons. One, we use well water here. It does not sound fun having pesticides seep into our water. Two, Milo is here in Montana with us, and I don’t want any pesticides around him. So how do you kill sawfly larvae naturally, without pesticides?

Smoosh Them

Get some gloves and go over your rose petal leaves. Simply rub your fingers over each leaf, and smoosh any you come across. You will most likely find them underneath the leaves. This is one of the easiest methods to get rid of them (though it is kinda gross). Find out more from Hedgerow Rose.

Use Organic Soap Spray

Since these larvae don’t have a hard outer shell, spraying them with soap water will mess them up. Take some natural Ivory liquid soap and mix it with water, 1 tsp soap to 6 oz of water. Put it in a spray bottle and spray it all over your rose leaves. Make sure that you get it everywhere, this will only work if it comes in direct contact with the sawfly larvae. Here are some other recipes you can use for organic soap spray.

Attract Birds

Yes, some birds will actually eat these sawfly larvae! Wrens and humming birds will eat these bugs, so try putting a bird feeder near by to attract the birds. They will eat what you leave, and the bugs!

I’ve heard of other methods such as spraying the plants with hard water to knock them off, or using praying mantis to eat these bugs. What methods have you used to get rid of these awful pests?

2 thoughts on “How to Kill Sawfly Larvae Naturally”

  1. Sounds weird, but if you chop up banana peel and mix it in a bit of soil around the base of the plant it works a treat. Had several years of decimated gooseberry bushes and I tried this having read somewhere sawfly are repelled by the smell. I was dubious at first but tried it again last year and saw no sawfly damage at all, so I am now convinced that it actually works. Now anytime the kids have banana the peel is slung under one of the fruit bushes and they look like they are going to be really productive this year!


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