red bugs eating lilies

dllfb(Ontario 5a)June 3, 2006

Hello...I have red bugs eating my lily leaves...they look something like lady bugs but skinnier and all red with a black head....what is a good thing to use to get rid of them?

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My experience with the red lily bug was very troublesome

I lived in Ballantrae Ontario, until two years ago and had a fabulous garden of perenials including many lilies.

The first year I had a mild attack of the red lily bug. Dilligently sprayed and sQuished the bugs all summer. In the fall I made sure the lily bed was free of debris and thought I would be okay
There was the odd lily bug in spring of next year,which I squished and noticed that there was a yuky slime on the stems of the lily plant which upon examination where baby lily bugs. Not yet hatched. Grose it is, very, but I squished that off as well.

I had large Gardens and did not have time to keep an eye all summer on the lily bugs, but in no time the plants above ground was mostly finished and what blooms I had where marked by the bugs.

I noticed though that in mixed flower beds, of various perenials the lily bugs did not bother the plants. Only in the bed that was soley lilies.
I am sure the bug overwinters.
We moved two years ago and I did say to the new owner the situation but have not been back to see if the lilies are yet there.

I am now living in Alliston Ontario and have a number of lilies here mixed in a new perenial bed. No sign of any yet. Not last year nor, although it is early, this year.

I am watchfull of them

They as well attack Fritlarias (sp)
One of the worst bugs I have ever come across.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 10:08PM
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trillium15(z5a Ontario)

dllfb - these are Red Lily Beetles. My mother has them at her place in Oshawa. The slimy stuff you find in the crook of the stem and leaves is their feces actually. They lay their eggs in the feces to prevent birds from eating the larvae.

They also overwinter in the stalks so it's important to cut down the stalks after they're done flowering. Neem Oil has been recommended as a non insecticide option, however these don't really seem to do much to them and will only kill about 20%. We find them 'mating' all over the plants. They are only interested in Asiatics and Orientals so your daylilies are safe.

You can go across to the US and buy Bayer Rose and Garden Spray. It's legal in Canada but isn't sold anywhere here. It contains Imiclopridil (I think that's how it's spelled). It's the active ingredient in Heartworm meds for pets. It will not only kill the beetles on the spot but until it rains, it will leave a clear residue on the plants that you spray killing all future tresspassers. It is safe to use near almost all other plants as my mother can attest to a variety of flowers that still flourish even after spraying the lillies.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 4:51PM
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2 July 2006 more lily blooms. No sign of the little red bug, I sure hope it stays away, since this is my first year growing the lilies. I put a lot of effort in making the raised bed, due to poor surface water drainage, which has now been corrected.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of my Lily bed

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 6:42PM
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Arrrg, these destructive little devils do quite a number on lilies, but please don't travel to the states for chemicals that are banned in Canada, that's irresponsible gardening in my opinion. I have had good luck with a mixture of dish washing liquid soap and water in a spray bottle, definitely kills the larvae. Leaves a nasty taste on the leaves to discourage the breeders. Squishing adults always helps too. I like the advice of diane_v_44, I will try to not segregate my lilies this year.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Last year I had a horrible time with these critters! I was away for a week and left gorgeous gardens....came home and found the lillies were close to non-existent! HUGE holes that left petals that looked like feathers....all eaten away. I did the horrid 'squish' method.....and fiendishly felt great every time I got one! However...they work fast...and I was never able to keep them away for the whole season. I was surprised to learn from posting on this site that they only like the oriental lilies.....and I'll move what I have to one area with nothing else around and see how that works! I have loads of day lillies and this makes me happy!
Any suggestions to get them NOW....when I see little leaves popping throgh the remaining snow...would be most welcome!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 3:02PM
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Hi Marie
You will have to keep up the squishy thing..You may also try to run your hand up the plant from the bottom first.Look at the under side of the leaf for red spots..they are the eggs.Squish them also.Less eggs fewer lily beetles...You may also try to clear the area around the base of the plant and till it a bit,but not to much.
Good luck

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 9:19AM
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I've gotten an infestation of these red bugs and I have discovered that spraying them using a mixture of dish soap and garlic not only kills them but also washes the eggs off of my lillies. Some of these bugs seem to withstand my homemade mixture but I keep at it and we will have to see if I can win the battle.So far its really helping. (Mixture-in a large pot boil several cloves of garlic until garlic is mushy, cool then strain water( so garlic won't clog your sprayer). Then add several drops of dish soap to garlic water.Make sure you spray both sides of leaves as well as on the bugs themselves. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 3:13PM
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I've planted some marigolds around my lilies and the bug seem to have vanished...

I've often heard that bugs dislike this flower !

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 6:54PM
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This is my first experience with day lilies. They grow outside the condo I just purchased. Unfortunately, I did not recognize them at first and now my DAY LILIES look like they have grown red clumps all over. Day Lilies are not immune in Michigan!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 1:07AM
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I also avoid pesticides, as I have a dog and young children. I read online that someone noticed her lilies that were planted near turtle heads were left alone, but the lilies elsewhere in her garden were attacked by these annoying beetles. I'm going to try a combination of planting a couple turtle heads as well as spraying with a mixture of dish soap and water.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:24AM
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the black legs and head make Red Lily Beetles very striking in appearance, but these little beasts are very destructive to bulbous plants and in particular Lilium such as Turk's cap lilies, Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies and Tiger lilies also some Fritillaria species. As with most destructive invertebrates it is the larval stage that does most on the damage.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 5:54AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

The danger with the products like Bayer is that they will kill off beneficial insects & arthropods as well. To minimize the deathtoll on beneies spray in the late evening or very early morning if you must use it.

Neem will not generally kill off the adults, nor is it meant to though it will act as a deterent for the adults. The compounds in the Neem is primarily active against the larvae. Ingesting the compounds interferes with the larvae or nymphs of insect pests ability to molt properly resulting in their death or inability to reach their sexually mature adult stage.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 3:48PM
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Another summer fighting these bugs.
I have just about decided to dig up the bulbs and not grow them next year
Just is to much effort when there is so much else to do in the garden
And I am getting older.
What I have been thinking I might try, as a last resort,
dig up the bulbs, a little later in August perhaps, (I have been stripping all the leaves off the stems, now trying to rid myself of this problem) It doesn't work though

But I was thinking that I might dig up some of my best lilies, and I have some beuties, my favourite is Casablanca, but
dig them up
and put them into a couple of large and I mean large black pots, of which I have a couple extra,
Putting new bagged soil in the tubs
leave them out in the sun and rain for a couple of weeks or so or til frost and then store them overwinter in the garage, til spring.
I have this year a couple of lilies growing in pots from last year, with a mixture of other perennials and annuals and they do not have the lily bug on them
So could be worth a try
any opinions?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:16PM
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All my lilies are gone, eaten away ... except the ones planted in the midst of a hosta bed and a bunch of lilies planted beside a cedar edge and surrounded by peonies. There is a variety of lilies (Asiatic Cancun, tango series, and a few unidentified cultivars. The trick appears to be the conjunction of cedar, peonies or hosts. Hard to tell what is protecting the lilies but at least it is a start.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 10:47PM
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i have these pesky things this year but im trying bakeing soda a and washing up liquid tryed it on roses it did fine last year im growing lillys in buckets but thy not growing very big like thy should i thought of takeing them out after flowering if i get eny and putting more compost in and looking at bulbs at bottom thank u eny cure for ants please thy seam to be every were

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:12PM
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