Red Lily Beatles

cherbirdwiseFebruary 1, 2008


I'm new to the forum this year. I've belonged to many gardening forums in the past, and this one, too, I believe, only with different email addy etc. Had to dump three new pcs when they died and lots alot of info. so am doubly glad to have found this forum.

I'm from Massachusettes; saw an old post frmo a woman in a neighborihng town, Malden..she wrote about having red beatles on her liies. I've got lots and lots of lilys and had planned on getting lots more in the future (ea year). However I am a little brokenhearted. After I spent all of my money on my garden, and much on lilys, I discovered most of them were eaeten by red beaetle like bugs last year. On some the greenery was totally destroyed but on others damage was somewhat less evident.

I suffre from alot chronic illness and pain and am forced to be indoors away from my yard much of the year and of course this is always unperdictable> It leads to alot of heartache and wasted funds. Point is that I couldn't find all of the beatles and just pluck them off last year. Besides by the time damage was done they were alreaady here.. I assume they will be here again this spring to ruin my photo shoots>(I am working on an outdoor photography studio and they are a large part of what I shoot...or were)

I don't know anything about the habits of thee creatuers or even their name> Can anyone enlighten me? I wonder if any of you have devised a way to pervent them from returning years after they arrive, and if there is an easy effective way to dispose of them to put it nicely. The little buggers are really making life misearble for me ruining my cherished lilys which are all over the entire property of 2+ acres. I got many of them from Waysidse Garends and wonder where folks got theirs (who have bugs). I have only ordered them from a few places so I can narrow it down; mostly online gardening stores.

I was able to obtain many seeds from them in the fall and wonder if they will be infected as well? I'll post seperately on how/when to plant the seeds etc.

Thanks to anyone who can be of help. And thakns for helping me find a way to beat the winter doldrums and share one of my passions.


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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Neem oil is said to be quite effective when it hits the red lily beetle. Note that it MUST be reapplied regularly as water of any type (dew or rainor watering) will wash it off.

They will eat anything and all once they take hold. I have heard that handpicking them works, too, if you drown them in hot, soapy water; but for some reason a soap spray does not work. All you have is clean beetles!

There is no good systemic spray that works because they are biters and not sucking insects. Some of the chemicals that do work are being banned (a good thing) so keeping on top of the hand-picking control seems to be the best option.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 12:42PM
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Thanks for the info. Yes, soap and water while it works for my mealys that are on my indoor plants right now, and needs frequent reapplicaation, will give me clean and well fed beatles...boy what buggers. They ruined some absolutely spectacular plants; ones I'd not even seen in bloom yet.
I'll make a note to get NEEM oil spray along with a million other things they are telling me to use on my apple (has got that diseae) and cherries (have nothing YET). I guess I need to get out with NEEm as soon as the lilys start to come up...that'll be soon.
Ohhhh, you mean they are going to eat everything else if I don;t spray everything in addtion to lilys? OMG This place is huge and I'm sick. Wonder if they will eat ivey (two lots length of that) and privacy hedges (one lots length of that) and two lots of flowers etc. I'll do the best I can, promise! Cher (BIRDWISE)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 1:50AM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

I'll bet. They are nasty little creatures. I hope all goes well for you, cherbirdwise, and you get some spectacular lilies this year. When you do, I hope you will share them with us by posting some pictures of them.

Oh, I mean the beetles eat anything on lilies, though. Not the whole garden!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:34AM
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I have them too!! They totally ravaged my lillies last year! They were so beautiful and one by one they were eaten up by these red beatles. I tried Sevin and that did not work either. Where can this Neem Oil be found? I just invested in Star Gazer Lillies last season and they are starting to grow but I just noticed on of them has RED BEATLES!!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 7:37PM
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We've had the Lily Leaf Beetle for the past several years in NH. I grow lilies for our Farmer's Market and do quite well, selling each stem for $4. We hand-pick the beetles every day after work and the all day on weekends. Just when you think you've gotten them all you find a few more. The sooner you get rid of them the sooner you can deal with them. The last thing you want is the larva that cover themselves with their own excrement on your plants. If you think squishing the adults are gross try the larva!

Still we hold our own and our lilies are doing very well early in our growing season. We don't use chemicals/pesticides in our garden so hand picking is our option.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 3:33PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I only have a few lilies and I also hand pick. If you get the adults when they first arrive you can stop them breeding but you have to watch attentively for them in the Spring. They have a trick of dropping to the ground upside down (ie dark underside upwards so you can't see them against the soil) if disturbed so you need to cup your hand beneath the leaf where they are before you touch them. Then they wil drop into your hand. I then tend to put them down and step on them rather then squish them in my hand.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 5:05PM
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Do these get up to Northern Maine? I just started planting lilies last year so it's new to me. They sound pretty yucky and I am planting a ton more lilies this year so wanted to know what I have to keep an eye out for.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 5:40PM
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I've found them on my lilies too however they seem to ignore the larger species (tree lilies) while the asiatic lilies seem to be magnets to them. I usually don't see too many, but whenever I see them, I'll spray the lily lightly with pesticide, and they will fall off and die.

All I use is an industrial squirt bottle purchased from home depot, and a couple squirts per plant is enough. Only a few drops of insecticide would be enough to get rid of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: My lilies

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 12:37AM
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