This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Contrary to our expectations, and, we may add, past experience, the Rose Bug is this season more abundant than we remember to have seen them for a dozen years past. They have usually been comparatively scarce after a very severe winter; but the past winter, though one of almost unexampled severity, seems to have had no effect in lessening their numbers. About New York it may be said, almost literally, that there are no cherries for them to eat; but the grape, the rose, and the leaves of the vine and the cherry tree, are suffering terribly, and the woods swarm with them. Every horticulturist ought to declare a deadly war against them. Organize Anti-Rose Bug Societies; arm yourselves with a basin of water and a stick; give the limb a gentle tap, and they will drop in the basin; you have then nothing to do but crush the life out of them with your foot. A less tedious plan is to spread a sheet under the vine or tree to catch them as they fall; but it is not so sure, since, after falling three or four feet, they often take to the wing.
Their destruction must be secured in some way; their existence can only be tolerated at the expense of half our crop of cherries and grapes, to say nothing of minor evils.
Last year complaints were very general in regard to the numbers of this beetle. This year, as far as we have seen, they are quite as numerous as last year, especially in some portions of New Jersey. The woods and fields are alive with them, and it is no very uncommon thing to see fifty or more on a single rose. Cherry trees, in some places, have been quite stripped of their leaves. If this state of things continues, Rose Bug Societies will become indispensable; the sooner they are instituted the better. The Rose Bug is so tenacious of life, that ordinary means fail to effect its destruction; nothing seems to be really effectual but the foot, or knocking them into hot water; knocking them into a "cocked hat" might do, but has not been tried. Placing a sheet on the ground, and jarring the tree, the same as for the Curculio, will secure thousands of them, and then the life must be actually crushed out of them. This does not require so much time and labor as might be supposed. But little good, however, will result from individual effort, unless neighborhoods club together and act unitedly. In this way the Rose Bug nuisance could be subdued in a couple of years so as to cease to be an annoyance. We do not believe it can be done in any other way.
We simply wish now to call attention to the great increase of this evil, not without the hope that something will be done for its extirpation. Action is needed on the part of those who would have cherries, grapes, or fine roses.