Chafer (Rose)

Cetonia aurata

Adult chafer beetle [Credit: Gbohne]
Adult chafer beetle [Credit: Gbohne]
Rose chafer [Credit: Gail Hampshire ]
Rose chafer [Credit: Gail Hampshire ]

Host Plants:

In the garden: Roses and numerous other flowering plants

Where Found:

Throughout UK and Europe


The rose chafer is about 20mm in length and is mainly found in the southern counties of the UK. The adult beetles can vary in colour from dark metallic green to a golden green. Their bodies are covered in fine hairs and their antennae are short and clubbed at the ends. Adults are usually seen feeding on flower petals, especially roses, during early summer on sunny days. The larvae live within/at the soil surface and feed mainly on decaying vegetation and leaf litter. They can take 2-3 years to develop into adults.


Adult rose chafers can be a problem on roses and other flowering plants where they feed on the petals. The larval grubs are however beneficial to the soil as they help in the decomposition of plant material and contribute to the natural composting process.

Preventing Problems:

Adult rose chafers start to appear in late spring and can be collected by hand and removed from areas where they are causing damage to flowering plants. Since rose chafer larvae are beneficial to the soil it is advisable to move adults to areas where they can feed without causing a problem rather than to eradicate them.

Managing Outbreaks:

Outbreaks on plants where flowers need to be protected can be reduced by collecting and trans-locating the adults to areas where they can feed without causing a problem. Their larvae do not need controlling as they are beneficial to the soil composting process.

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