Red Lily Leaf Beetles -- Early Soil Treatment?

davidl_ny5March 22, 2012

Just getting ready, haven't seen any yet. But we had our first last year, and I want to get at them early if any return. Seems to me some people had a soil treatment that they used in the early Spring to stop over-wintering bugs in the soil. Does anyone have such a method? Otherwise I'll just use my hands and neem oil again.

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

One such method is the soil drench containing imidacloprid which is poured into the soil and kills the adults before they emerge. I think Bayer makes a product which also contains fertilizer which would be good in the springtime.

See UMass Extension Fact Sheet on Lily Leaf Beetle.

Also see our FAQ How do I keep the red lily leaf beetle from destroying my lilies?

If you're in NY, you may be in the early stages of the lily leaf beetle invasion. Here in MA, we're beginning to see effects from the release of parasitic flies that kill the beetles. If you're willing to use imidacloprid or spinosad you can probably control the infection (unless your neighborhood is overrun with the little red monsters).

Claire

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:31PM
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capecodder(z6 MA)

I drench the soil with Bayer 3 in 1 for roses. I don't use any other pesticides in my garden, but hate those lily leaf beetles! The Bayer really works...I use it a couple of times in the spring on the lilies and that's it for the season.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 4:14PM
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davidl_ny5

Thanks for the suggestions. I've just got an isolated stand of Canada lilies (or two stands, really, one didn't get infected last year) not far from Great Barrington. Manual removal kept them from being totally eaten by the beetles last year, so I hope some early treatment will do the same this year, and maybe save me some time in removing the pests.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:43AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Your situation sounds very manageable to me.

Back when the beetles first started ravaging lilies in MA, I was living in NYC and gardening in MA; coming up every 1 1/2 to 2 months. I first saw the beetles just before I left and I sprayed everything with a Bayer's product (Advanced Flower and Rose spray or something like that) and drove off. No one here to care for them.

About a month and a half later I drove back to MA expecting to find demolished lilies, but they were all fine. After that I just sprayed them whenever I was here and they all survived. I live here now and the beetles are pretty much under control, probably by the parasitic flies, so I rarely have to spray now.

Whatever you use, be sure to follow the directions and don't apply if beneficial bugs, like bees, are around.

Claire

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 11:41AM
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