By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – ‘It’s always something,’ as the saying goes.

My neighbor texted me the other day about a Japanese beetle invasion on her roses. Her message came in as I was staring at two zinnia leaves that looked like overcrowded landing strips at an airport during a storm delay. There were so many beetles stacked up, you couldn’t see the leaves.

These hoards of beetles seemed to hatch almost overnight, they were the first I’d seen, and they showed up later than other years, as has been the case with a lot of things in the garden this season.

My neighbor said she was going to prune her shrub roses down for the year because the leaves were already like lace from the beetles munching. I checked my roses and found there weren’t many Japanese beetles – but only because these supposedly ‘disease-resistant’ roses of mine got hit hard by black spot while I was away on vacation and had already dropped a lot of their leaves.

So instead of picking off beetles, this week I’ve been cleaning out diseased rose leaves instead.

‘If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.’

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