Asiatic Lily Beetles

lindab_gardenerMay 18, 2007

Hello everyone. Just wanted you all to know that I have done my homework thanks to a lot of very useful information here, and have bought Neem Oil, with excellent results. Just one spraying has knocked out 98% of the little critters. I found mine at e-bay, but I do know that some nurserys offer it for sale. A very little bit goes a very long way. Help yourself with the cost and share expenses with friends or family. Great, great product, and it is very safe to use. Thanks for listening. Linda

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Glad to hear of your success

I am in Alliston Ontario. Found a few of them here this past week
They are the most dreadfull thing to happen to lillies and related plants.
Had ever so much trouble with them in my last home. I worked hard to control them but finally decided to dig up my lilies.

Such a shame as I love lillies. Trying them again but will try to find Neem Oil

I noticed today that on the underside of some leaves there is a little orange line. I think it has something to do with the bug cycle. Took off the leaves

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 11:58PM
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trillium15(z5a Ontario)

Hi. Just to let you all know that the Neem Oil can work sometimes but not as effective as Bayer Rose and Garden Spray. This leaves a nice residue (invisible but deadly) on the plant. It kills them directly and any eggs and if they land on the plant, it will kill them. We find them in the oriental lilies, the asiatics and the fritillaria. THe daylilies seem to be fine. The active ingredient is Diazapan (I think) which is from the flea killing family. Same stuff that's in your dog's flea medication.

The spray is not banned from entering canada but apparently Bayer has advised there's no demand for it yet in Canada (obviously they haven't seen our lily gardens!) and so if you drive across the border to the US and get it at Lowe's you will be fine. I researched it for my mother who used to have a huge infestation of them. Strip the plant to the spine and overwinter in the stem. make sure you cut down the stalks at the end of the summer so you don't promote a Red Lily Beetle hotel!

THe spray comes in a blue bottle. We got ours at the end of the summer and each bottle was $1.00. They have the handheld spray and the ones that attach to the hose. Great thing is that it's for Roses and Gardens so it won't damage any of the other garden plants but make sure to read the bottle carefully. I think it may kill some helpful insects so be wary of where you spray.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 8:41AM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Diazepam is a sedative that is more commonly known as Valium. The active ingredient in Bayer Rose and Garden Spray is Carbaryl.

Bringing it across the border into Canada is likely illegal.

There are several problems with recommending this spray. Firstly it is banned in many places. The entire province of Quebec has banned its use cosmetically, as have more than 60 municipalities across the country. Why it's banned - it's highly toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects, moderately toxic to many species of fish and wild birds, and moderately to very toxic to humans when it is inhaled or ingested. Contact with the skin can cause burns, and it is readily absorbed through the skin. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, which means it is a neurotoxin. Prolonged exposure has been linked to birth defects in some animals (including humans), and it is a suspected carcinogen.

Carbaryl has a half life of 3-10 days. That means you have to spray again after that because the chemical has broken down.

The threat to honeybees is probably the most severe one. Honeybees are declining in extremely rapid numbers, and they may be in danger of becoming wiped out in North America. Bees are the most important crop pollinators we have. If you eat an apple, have cereal containing grains, veggies with your dinner, you are eating foods pollinated by bees. Even the steak or chicken breast on your plate was fed by bee pollinated crops.

So before you dust your lilies, please think about what else you may be killing.

I'm a bit of a soapbox preacher about pesticides, but it's because most people really don't realize what's in the products they're using, and how dangerous some of them can be. The manufactures want your money and so have no interest in informing you about the dangers you may be placing your children and pets in. They don't care about the bees, or the water tables, or the fish and frogs living in our rivers and lakes. Most gardeners do though, so I try to inform whenever I can.

/puts soapbox away again

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 1:20PM
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Don't ever put your soapbox away please! You are most informative and knowledgeable and I for one appreciate it very much, especially since the bees and such can't speak for themselves and since the big guns out there have no interest in informing us of the end result, and the things which happen from such products which we just don't see as we use them haphazardly in our gardens.

Not having used insecticides/pesticides in our gardens in the last few years has certainly paid off. Our gardens are now a refuge for Monarchs and we are being blessed with their babies. Looking forward to nurturing more grandcats this year!

So BP, don't think you are preaching - you are educating, and we certainly need people like you to remind us all of where it's really at.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 7:57PM
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alexg(z5b ONT)

I have posted on these in the past (the way-past). I agree with Bonniepunch - have a care about what pesticides you use - I use none. A homemade spray of Murphy's oil soap, some pyrethrin concoction (most of the "insecticides" for plants are this) and water, works quite well. Nothing works for lily beetles, including neem oil, except for squishing them and squashing their eggs if any elude you. And as I have said before, I don't have hours to spend picking and squishing, but I do "enjoy" my garden every morning, and that's when I get them. By now, there are very few - killed just 2 today and I have many many lilies.
Just be vigilant every time you take a turn around the garden and you can keep them at a minimum.
Now, as I have said before - if anyone has a non-toxic cure for grasshoppers, I'd love to hear about it - they are back AGAIN this year!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:50PM
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chris_ont(5a Ont)

I dug my lilies up and got rid of them. I just couldn't stand to look at the skeletal stalks with a great big bloom at the top but I won't use pesticides.

There are so many colourful, pest-resistant choices for the garden that there just isn't any point in destroying useful wildlife just to keep one species looking pretty.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 12:08PM
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sammyqc(NE Quebec/zn 4/5a)

Have to agree with Bonnie here. There is no need for pesticides, when you can just pick 'em off and throw 'em in a bucket of soapy water. If you don't have time for that, just keep hosing off your lilies, and you knock a lot of the eggs and larvae down, which are the problem. I know the ugly buggers are very destructive to a lily, but if you take five minutes, and knock them off, you've gone a long way to dealing with the problem. And that satisfying crunch underneath your sandal......

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 9:14PM
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I remeber reading on this forum about an inexpensive substitute for Neem. The person said it worked. If I remember correctly, the recipe is 20 ml. baby oil to 1 L. water. Add a few drops of dish soap. The effects last up to a month. I'm going to give it a try. I never had the beetles until I renewed a magazine subscription and got a free bulb with, you guessed it, the lily beetles. Marg

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 8:08PM
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Hi there,

I am new to gardening and I live in MA (do not hold that agaisnt and I know this is a forum for folks in Canada but hope you can help me. Can someone let me know the best non toxic chemical to help keep the Asiatic Lily Beetle away? I found 2 this AM and I almost feel over with the shock b/c I heard how bad they are...

I have dogs and cats so I have to go the natural non chemical route. How does this sound:

Thank you in advance

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 11:41AM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

I always recommend Neem oil. It has been tested and found to be effective against the Asian Lily Beetle. I have found it works well myself, but I know several others have had different experiences - probably because in Canada it is not yet registered in for use anywhere but the forestry trade. The approval is in the works, but these things take time and until then there are no standards. Different Neem oil brands may contain different strengths and so some people will find it less effective that others. I have no ides what its status is in the US so it may be the same or it may be better regulated.

Neem oil will need to be applied every week of so. Be warned that it stinks to high heaven!

You should also do a regular inspection. Daily is best, but at least two or three times weekly, look for any signs of munched leaves. Look on the undersides of the leaves for little lines of red/orange eggs and wipe them off with a damp tissue. Look for wierd little piles of black crud on the undersides of leaves - they are likely the larvae (they disguise themselves by piling their poop on their backs) and they should be wiped off too. The adults are easy to spot and can be squished or knocked into a can of soapy water.

In the fall and again in the spring, carefully sift through (or remove and replace) the top couple of inches of soil around your lilies - you're looking for the overwintering adults. They're not that hard to spot against the black soil.

If you can't keep on top of them this way you may need to consider weather growing lilies is worth it to you. Heavy duty pesticides aren't proving that effective at long term control either and aren't worth the risk (in my opinion). These beetles are a major problem for a lot of people. I only have a little over a dozen lilies and I am able to keep the damage to a minimum - a daily check takes me only a minute and I only need to remove eggs or larvae once or twice a month.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 4:22PM
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I find all this talk about the Asian Lily Beetle a bit puzzling.
When I bought my house three years ago, there was nothing at all in the back yard, except grass and a lot of dandelions.
Or so I thought.
Part way into my project of transforming it into a real garden, I found out that some previous owner planted asian lilies way in the back of the property.
In spring, these lilies are by far the most vigorous growing things in the yard, eventually producing gorgeous orange flowers, on high bamboo-like stalks.
Never saw any sign of any bugs, or the damage they might be causing.
Guess I'm just lucky ?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 6:59PM
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chris_ont(5a Ont)

You're lucky. I had these lilies for years before those little red devils showed up and destroyed them.

Check out this article regarding the link between pesticides and brain cancer.

Just because something isn't listed on the MSDS sheet YET doesn't mean that someone won't eventually find something horribly wrong with the stuff you're exposing yourself to. Kinda what happened with DDT and Thalidomide.

Probably a good thing if Canada is taking its time in allowing new products to be marketed here. No need to rush the process on my account :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 12:18PM
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Thank you all for your responses. I took the entire day yesterday and read about Neem and found a very good and reliable source in VT (the green state). I ended up purchasing pure Neem oil and will mix it with soap. It is legal in MA and I can't believe how much talk there is about the positive effects of Neem!

Bonniepunch I patrol my lilies 3x a day; yes I am bit obsessive! Thank you for the tips and I will make sure to follow them.

This is where I purchased from:

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:59AM
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Hi Liliesinma:
As Bonnie said, hand-picking and Neem seem to keep them under control in my garden too. The first ones come out in April with the first warm days here, and that's when you have to nip them in the bud. Haven't seen any for a couple of weeks now, so I'm laying off the Neem for now(and yes, it sure does smell bad!).
I have a LOT of lilies, so I spend quite a bit of time bending and crouching and staring at them, checking for those little red pests. My neighbours must really wonder what I am doing!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 1:40PM
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Cybersunday(z5 ca)

Neem oil has worked for me as well, I just had to spray once and did a little handpicking. If you keep the oil in the fridge, it will be good for one year, you only need a little for spraying. I have not noticed any foul smell but that sense has been dulled by my alergies. I think I will reaply just in case. The lilies are especially vigorous this year

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 6:10PM
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I am fighting the fight of the Red Lily Bug.

I find you have to keep watch everyday and as often as you can

The bug seems to get after some lilies and not other
I noticed this year as someone mentioned in this forum that it is not just the red bug itself that you need to squish , and as well the black poop like stuff , but that little orange red thread sort of, that is underside of the leaf.
I don't know just what that stage is but it needs to be removed as well

Such a shame for sure. Lilies are so gorgeous and they where a plant, previously that needed little care

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 10:17PM
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Here's a few photos of my inherited Asiatic Lilies.

They are monstrous -- the biggest ones are nearly five feet tall !

I planted that Colorado Spruce in the hope of some day hiding that ugly wall, but by the looks of it, those lilies will beat the tree....

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 10:06PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

This is the first time I've been on this Forum and was very interested in this thread. Under no circumstances do I use any chemicals in my garden. The red beetle is a pest because it was 'imported' into Canada and has no natural place in our ecosystem i.e. nothing here preys on it. Initially, I would be very vigilant, and would pass my hand up the stem of the lily to remove the black stuff which contains the young larvae, as well and pick and squish. But I met someone at a flower show who gave me this advice: make a 10% solution of household ammonia and spray it on the tips of the bulbs as they emerge and the surrounding earth. This will not hurt your lilies, but it does limit the number of beetles you get. Apparently, it kills the eggs which lay dormant in the soil over winter.I have tried this and it helps. I did not get around to doing it this year, and I am still squishing beetles. Other years, I have a few but this year, it's like a full infestation as before. I love my lilies and won't give them up. Give it a try!!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 4:09AM
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That sounds like a possibility for the fall and spring. I will try your idea of the solution of household ammonia
I have been keeping good watch on the lily bug this year Doing okay so far but I am going to be away for two weeks out to B.C.
I am sure the bug in some stage overwinters in the ground

Good luck with your lilys "northern"

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 11:23PM
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I know that some time has passed since this forum was active but I want to ask if anyone knows the concentration of Neem Oil that is required to be effective. Home Hardware has a foliage spray-would it be as helpful as 100% neem oil?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 10:22AM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Personally, I found the foliar leaf spray to be ineffective. I think someone recemmended buying the full strength product at an East Asian groc. store. That is my next step. I can't remember what dilution to use, though.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 10:52AM
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Spray for indoor and outdoor plants, flowers and vegetables:
Mix 1 ounce neem oil with 1 gallon water and few drops of mild dish detergent (to emulsify oil). Spray foliage including undersides of leaves. Repeat every 2 weeks. This is an organic and bio-degradable insecticide and fungicide.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:08AM
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For my Lilies I use Horticultural oil $10.00 a litre concentrate, that U can get at Cdn Tire. With this product you drench the ground where your lilies are, and it kills the beetle in the ground before they come up. Once I do this I have very little infestation.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 8:28AM
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daylilymike, is that exactly what it is called, horticultural oil? if so, could you please indicate which brand you use?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 7:38PM
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I got my first pink lilies 2 weeks ago in Lowes, i was so happy because i never had those before, i only have tens of tens regular orange lilies.
As i was checking them yesterday i noticed that something was eating the lilies!!! i did not find anything though, but this morning i saw them!! those nasty red beetles!! disgusting!!!
I hate insects so much that i can not even describe it, but the worst thing is that I can not make myself to squish them, so i wont be able to keep control of it.
I think the bugs must have come with the bulbs, so i am afraid now that all my orange lilies are gonna be attack soon. :(
This weekend i am gonna get nees oil and try this but if this is not gonna work i will have to dig upp the lilies and get rid of them i can not let my garden die casuse of some stupid bugs!!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 1:43PM
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I had a few eat my fritallaria. Just awful.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:58AM
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Do these lilly killer bugs also reside in Oregon

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 7:14PM
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my daughter had them for 3 years now and i have them for 2 yrs.i was wondering would marigold flowers planted beside them cure this?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 7:05PM
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I'm afraid these have not been that effective. Marigolds do deter some insects but I've not seen it effective against these beetles. Use a pyrethium (derived from chrysanthemum flowers) based insecticide to kill them off.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 10:47AM
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