The rose root aphid, Maculolachnus submacula spends much of the year below soil level where it feeds by sucking sap from rose roots. During the autumn, females emerge from the soil and climb a few cm up the stems before depositing their eggs. These eggs hatch during March. Although the small, dark brown aphids may linger for a while on the stems, it is not long before they move down into the soil.
Although not uncommon the rose root aphid is somewhat irregular in its occurrence. A plant can be heavily infested with eggs in one year and then in the following year there is no sign of eggs. As with many other root-feeding aphids this species is closely associated with ants when it is in its root-feeding phase. It is possible that if a nearby ant nest dies out or moves elsewhere then the fortunes of the aphids will also decline.