Red Lily Beetle Alert

diene(Z4ME)May 14, 2008

I have been diligent with picking and squishing and removing the eggs for three years now. I have had to kill eight adults and remove two rows of eggs already this year. Just a warning I have at least sixty different lily plants so I am not really concerned but if I did not catch them now, I would have had a mess quickly.

I had hoped I had eradicated them last year because there were none by the fall but I know that they can travel from neighbors homes on wind and then you start over again.

Be aware.


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thanks for the alert but the little buggers have COMPLETELY infiltrated my yard. fortunately i don't have too many asiatic lillies.

but i havta say i am AMAZED.

i'm a beginning gardener and my lillies came in so well this year. it seems like in a blink of an eye, those beetles had shred half the plants! i didn't know to look for them prior and now, i'm left w/ these raggedly, awful lookin' lilly stalks.

honestly, i'll think i'm going to just rip all of it out of the garden. they look terrible. and maybe that'll encourage those little buggers to go elsewhere.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 12:17PM
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I'm new to the Red Lily Beetle this year, 2011. Bought an Asiatic Lily Plant from Home Depot (first mistake!) August of 2010. This spring I first spotted the little pests eating away all the leaves on my lily. I proceeded to apply Neem Oil for 3 weeks. It appeared to do the trick until this morning when I noticed the darn beetles were back in full force! Today, at dusk I've applied Bayer Rose and Flower Spray. The plant is now in bloom, but looking pretty shaky. By the way... the beetles have not attacked my Tiger Lilies, yet. I find this very interesting. Also sprayed Bayer on them just in case the little pests looking for a new meal!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:26PM
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thistle(ontario 5b)

I have had to kill a lot of these this Year already,.I had hoped that I had left the problem behind me when I moved to a new House and started over with new Lilies.I can check in the Morning,find none, and go out in the Afternoon and find at least 2 to 3 of the little Buggers.I guess being diligent is the only way to get them under control.I use Neem Oil,but it doesn't seem to have any effect on the adult Beetles,but I haven't noticed any Eggs yet,so maybe the Neem is doing something.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 11:52PM
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Red lily bugs will breed and lay eggs almost nonstop, and any other time, they will be eating so if you start with 1 bug, expect to have thousands in a couple weeks. They really don't have any natural predators so with just the start of an infestation, the lilies are gone for good unless they are sprayed with pesticide every few days.

I have lilies and I've seen how destructive these beetles are so I'm likely going to give up on caring for them as it's more rewarding to grow other stuff that doesn't have this pest.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 11:29AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Once you have Asiatic lilies, the red lily beetle will find them. Becuse they have no predators (they are not native to North America) they can thrive with ease. There are immune to most peticides so the only way to get rid of them is by catching the buggers and squishing them. You may also knock them into a bowl of soapy water if you are squeamish. I grow lots of Asiatic lilies and have never lost a plant to them. I follow a regimen I picked up from a Horticultural College nearby: In the spring, just when the lily buds are coming up, I spray them and the surrounding area with a 10% solution of household ammonia. It does not harm the plants, but I think it kills the eggs which lay dormant in the soil over winter. Then I am very vigilant for any 'visitors'. I catch them and squish them. If I am away and few take hold, I run my hands up the plant and remove the gobs of black stuff which contain their larvae. I also squish them by rubbing my gloved hands together. Some years, I spray in the fall as well. But if you don't have time to inspect daily they will take over. My neighbours, a young couple did a landscaping job with beautiful white trumpets and what an inefestation they had. I used to go over daily and do a little purge but I never got rid of them: they were too far gone. Once the plants bloomed they cut them back and I think they will discard them. This was the first year my trumpets were infested but I got it under control after many days of squishing and scraping. Many gardeners have stopped growing Asiatics because the them.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 2:17AM
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I think I've figured out how to eradicate the red lily bugs for at least a few weeks at a time. I sprinkled some of the powder or dust used to kill beetles and after a few hours, all of the beetles along with their larvae were dead. I guess they really can't handle the dust, ingest it and die.

As long as it is applied every couple weeks, the asiatic lilies should be fine. Once they are fully mature, they seem to have some resistance to the red beetles.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 12:44AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

They are already having a go at my lilies which are only a few inches out of the ground. Mine are all L regale or regale hybrids. Daily squishing just about keeps them in control because I don't have many plants to patrol.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Ortho Max Flower Fruit & Vegetable Insect Killer Pull 'N Spray works wonders in eradicating these buggers! I also use the spray on my roses to kill aphids and Japanese beetles. Try it!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 3:08PM
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I have had lilies and lily beetles for as long as I remember, and I have NEVER lost a lily to them. Yes, they have a natural enemy : YOU. They are so easy to detect, you cannot miss to notice them, which makes them an easy prey. Just hold one of your hands under them, as they can just drop off the leaves. If by chance some of the larvae hatch unnoticed, I just put some pressure on my water hose and flush them from beneath the leaves. Once on the ground, they will usually stay there and perish. Last year I observed that some of my house sparrows (nesting under my roof) were eating the larvae, so spreading poison should not be an option. It is absolutely unnecessary. If somebody does not have time to collect some beetles(or is too lazy to do it), then it is better to stop growing lilies.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:01PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

And you have to keep alert. I check mine every day. And even then I have found a beetle half an hour after checking and seeing none. The tip about putting your hand under the beetle is absolutely spot on. If they sense you are there they drop upside down to the ground. Underneath they are black and impossible to see on the soil and among other plants.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Betty Levar

I read on another forum that baby talcum powder smothers them. Worth a try.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 5:45PM
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thistle(ontario 5b)

I have been using Talc and spraying with Neem oil and feeling pretty good about my efforts UNTIL half an Hour ago and I spotted and Killed one of these Nasties chomping away on a Lily.Now the real battle begins,hope I can stay ahead of them.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 4:44PM
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For the first time, they have discovered my lilies and are turing them into salad!
I've been removing them and squashing them but they appear to come back so quickly.
I've done some research as well as reading this post about how to get rid or at least deter them; are there any pet safe ways to do so?
From what I have read about Neem oil, it seems relatively non toxic and safe to use around pets.
Any other dog owners have any advice?
Thanks very much!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:52AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Hope they stay up north- spraying Neem here when it is hot would kill the lilies faster than the beetles! No time is safe to spray any oil or soap here for several months. Been there, done that, and killed that! Just when I need oil spray I can't use it. I won't be doing the hand pick thing either, don't have the patience for that!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:10PM
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Patience? It has neither anything to do with patience nor 'hand pick thing'. It is a question of aggression and squeezing. It's heighly therapeutic, a perfect outlet for accumulated frustrations. :-)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:44PM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

From what Ihear, they will not stay up north--it is a matter of time till they are all over the country. URI has been having success with a parasite--I think some kind of wasp? Otherwise, hunt & kill. Spraying poisons will kill the beetles but also a lot of other things, including beneficial insects so I'm not going there. That Bayer stuff is a sytemic & will kill bees & butterflies that visit the lily flowers.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:50PM
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This is the fourth spring that I have had them in my garden. I have tried EVERYTHING..interspersed with hand picking them, morning noon & night, and dropping them into a baggie filled with water & a little lemon dish soap, which does kill them. The hand picking alone works fine where I have half a dozen lilies, but I have a 40 foot border that I am thinking I will finally tear out this year. Its devastating, because they were so beautiful 4 years ago. I just can't bear the thought of spending an hour at least twice a day from now until the fall picking & drowning. My biggest fear is that when I rip out the lilies, they will move on to something else. Wondering if anyone has had any luck with companion plantings? I have small clumps in 4-5 places & was thinking about trying turtle heads nearby, which I read on one forum was helpful. Anyone else?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Last Fall (2012), I got very serious about these pests. I love my lilies and decided to go all out warfare...after the weather became too cool for bees, butterflies, wasps,etc., I used malathion spray in my back garden, spraying where the lilies were as well as the day lilies. I NEVER use insecticides like this,but hand picking was not effective. This spring, so far, the lily plants in that garden are free of the pests, while the front garden where I did not spray has had several.I am using a spinosad spray in front and hand picking. So far so good...I think one has to get ahead of them before they get too strong a hold in your garden, and then you can use safer methods. There are definitely fewer lilies in my front garden than in prior years. The beetles ate so much of the individual plants that the bulbs seem to not be producing growth .

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 3:43PM
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Update back garden is so far completely free of the pests. In my front yard, where I did not use such desperate means, I have been battling them with hand picking and applications of spinosad. I tore out one stand of Asiatics due to the virulent infestation. There is no dearth of bees, wasps, butterflies, etc. in the garden where the malathion was applied last fall.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 2:02PM
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I did not know this was an invasive species, nor that they devastated lilies. I have ants on my lilies, so that may be the reason I have not lost any lilies to these pests. I just pluck at them. I'm going to put some rotene dust on my lilies I've got about 40+. I'm not going to hand pluck bugs.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:17PM
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Last year I used diluted dish soap in a spray bottle and soaked the stems, leaves and the ground around the area along with killing any that I saw. This year I'm glad to say that I haven't seen one yet and my lilies are so healthy and vibrant that it was worth the work involved.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 6:21PM
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My husband and I hand pick any beetles that we see. We have been diligent since the end of April. We are now finding a few larvae from some eggs we missed but if you get them early enough they don't do too much damage. What bothers me so much is there doesn't seem to be just one cycle of them. I have found a few new beetles around with the larvae. Have they flown in from somewhere else or are they just late coming out of the ground? It just doesn't seem fair that you have to go through this more than once. And of course now everything is so lush and thick that you can't see them as well as earlier in the season. My lilies still look great so I think we are winning the battle. I would like to spray but with the wet weather this year and how many lilies I have I can't even begin to keep up with that.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 7:19AM
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