Red Lily Beetles Sightings

mrtulinApril 16, 2012

April 17, 2012 stem of an asiatic lily

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA
    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:47PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Well, I am not likely to see any of these buggers this year, since the vole ate ALL the Lilium bulbs. I got some pretty ones from Ontheteam at your swap last year Idabean, but they are gone. :(

The upside is, I won't have to deal with those horrible beetles.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:47PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I saw a few almost two weeks ago. They seem to be starting early. Sigh.

Dee

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:49PM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

SIGH Sorry Tereene! I got more if you wanna give it a try again...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 2:36PM
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pixie_lou

I saw one earlier this week. I went to hand pick it off my lily, but then I dropped it and it disappeared into my mulch. I'm in metrowest - near 128 and the pike.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 5:27PM
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casey1gw

Over the last 10 days, I've killed 16 beetles and my lilies aren't that big yet.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 5:49PM
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gardenweed_z6a

Haven't seen any so far but then, I gave up on lilies two years ago because of them. I have precious few hours to spend gardening so decided that, timewise, any susceptible lily types were a luxury I could no longer afford. I'll just make do with daylilies, until some varmint decides those are the equivalent of their favorite food.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 6:19PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hey Ontheteam, I will be happy to try more of those pretty light pink lilies if I get the chance!! I had dug up ALL my lilies prior to that because of the Lily Leaf Beetle, but I couldn't resist those gorgeous lilies (am a sucker for pastels).

Gardenweed, what is eating your daylilies? So far, knock on wood, nothing has ever bothered the daylilies in the 9 years I've lived here. Watch, just for saying that something will happen.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 7:10PM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

Tereen you are welcome to come to the sale and pick some up LOL or you can wait and see what I have left to swap for. Zabo donated 400 of that pink lilly again.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 2:45PM
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SCPearson(5 NE CT)

Gardenweed, I did exactly what you did... after 2 years of being so disappointed at what they did to whole plants, and unable to keep ahead of them, I just took them all out and filled in with day lilies, which I can be just as happy with. Its pretty much my philosophy of gardening... if you have to try too hard to keep it alive, its not for me. There are plenty of other beautiful plants that will thrive. I love flowers of all types, but the time I do have to spend on gardening mostly goes into my vegetable garden - its more satisfying that picking bugs off my flowers!
Susan

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:05PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Last year I found a little adjustment in my lily beetle hunting made a big difference. I had that problem with trying to catch them and they would drop down to the ground and you couldn't see them. I now take a 5 gallon bucket and add a little water to the bottom, then I hold the bucket under the lily stalk and shake the beetles into the water. Then I dispose of them. It has worked very well.

I just didn't get started early enough this year. They've made a mess of a couple of lilies I forgot I had and I am wondering what happens if you just cut the top off the lily plant? I would expect I wouldn't get a flower this year, but will it kill the plant all together?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:55AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I only have a few lilies planted in my white garden, Casablanca and Siberia. I think they are both orientals. This is the first year I've planted lilies so I was a little surprised to find a red beetle today on one of the Casablanca's. I think I'll try the ammonia and water solution. It works for slugs, so I'm guessing it will shrivel up any larvae that it comes into contact with. My understanding is that larvae hatch 7-10 days after egg laying. So I'll be ready for the fecal covered nasties.

Steve

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 11:06AM
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javaandjazz(z6 CT)

ugh, just noticed some of my lillies aren't doing well and then all of a sudden I shake the plants and lo and behold guess what I saw and the eggs on the underside of the leaves too. All I have to spray with is a product that kills bugs around your foundation so I sprayed the plants. Every year its something new. I am down in Ansonia if you guys want to report me!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 3:55PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Steve, I would like to hear how the ammonia solution works on the LLB larvae. I tried it last year on the slugs for the first time and boy did it work great! The 25% solution they recommended on the Hosta forum was quite acrid, so I tried 12.5% ammonia and it worked just as well with less irritating vapors.

Ontheteam, I would be happy to swap for some lilies if you have some leftover and we hook up at a swap.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:50PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

PM2, I wouldn't cut the top off the lily. As you say, you would not get a bloom. I don't think it would kill the plant, but you'd have to leave I believe at least two thirds or so of the stem, so there's not much point in just taking off the top. You'd still have the beetles, and besides, by leaving the top, you will still get blooms, beetles or not. Some blooms may look pretty ratty and holey (is that a word, lol?) but I've had lots of lilies where the leaves are horrendously eaten but the blooms are okay.

I tried the ammonia drench last year. I can't really tell if it helped much or not, but I am doing it again this year, as well as trying to be more vigilant in searching and destroying the beetles. I'm just not quite ready to give up on the lilies yet. I'm hoping the parasitic wasp will make its way down here to CT before long.

Dee

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:07PM
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nightmart(5)

i have maybe 10lily plants as of last year, maybe 2-3 more this year, so far they did not even grow half way the regular size, but i am gonna start searching for beetles. Last year i managed to pick them and squish all the eggs i could find and the flowers survived. I was disgusted but i held my breath and kept squishing. I hope i wont get many of them this year.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:19AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I have gotten rid of all my oriental and asiatic lilies due to susceptibility, but have found that the orienpet (oriental-trumpet crosses) seem less vulnerable. I am able to grow those completely undamaged most years. The first year after I got rid of my other lilies, I had a few beetles, but I haven't found any since then.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:34AM
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nightmart(5)

so so far i do not have red beetles on my lilies, but surprisingly i have some ladybugs on them!! i saw them copulate, and now i have eggs on the leafes, so there is the question, are lady bugs larvae gonna eat my lilies plants? i do not have aphids on them so i am not sure what is gona be their food source?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 1:36PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I hand picked RLLBeetles ruthlessly in 2010 and then last year I didn't have time to keep checking for them. This year, so far I've found less than 2 dozen around the garden and have disposed of them and the lilies are not looking too bad. I think if I had just been able to keep up with it in 2011, I would have seen even fewer and hope to keep vigilant.

And I am pretty sure ladybugs eat aphids and don't eat foliage. If I were you I would feel very fortunate that they like your garden enough to settle there and start reproducing. I am sure they already have a source for food spotted. Maybe there is a population of aphids somewhere nearby.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 6:06PM
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pixie_lou

I've been seeing the occasional red lily beetle but barely any damage to the plants themselves. I put a teaspoon of GrubX on each Lilly when they are first emerging. That seems to take care of the bulk of the problem.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Pixie what's in GrubX that you think works on the RLLB?

Here's some good news. I was at a lecture by Dick Casagrande, a professor of entomology at URI. URI has done most of the research on this beetle and have released some parasitic wasps in two places, Cumberland RI and Wellesley, MA.

They are trying to track the extent to which these wasps have been effective. They do this by collecting and dissecting the larvae from around NE, and they want you to send them yours. Yes, that's right they want you to collect some of the fecal covered critters, stick them in a yogurt cup and send them to URI. Below is the link with instructions at their website.

The lab will dissect these things to find out how far the parasitic wasps have dispersed from those two release sites. Hopefully, these natural predators will make it easier for everyone to grow lilies in the future.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Lily Leaf Beetle Larvae Collections

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 6:25AM
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pixie_lou

Steve mass - Claire did a wonderful FAQ on the red lily beetle. When I read about the life cycle with the larvae going underground, I decided to try the GrubX to see if that could kill them. I already walk the gardens in the spring sprinkling GrubX on the irises - to kill off iris borer - so its no big deal to also sprinkle it on the lilies.

From th FAQ:
"LIFE CYCLE: The adult beetle overwinters in the soil or plant debris and emerges in early spring looking for food and a mate. After mating, the female lays eggs in lines on the underside of Lilium or Fritillaria leaves. Some damage is done by the adults at this time, but the major damage comes when the eggs hatch into larvae in 7-10 days. The larvae voraciously consume all leaves within reach and may then start on flower buds. This continues for 2 to 3 weeks, when the larvae then drop into the soil and begin to pupate. In another 2 to 3 weeks the adult beetles emerge to start eating again. This process occurs from early spring to mid-summer. Reportedly the beetles won't mate and lay eggs until the next spring. "

But now I read that parasitic wasps were released in Wellesley, and I live the next to Wellesley. So maybe I am benefitting from the parasitic wasps and my GrubX has not done a thing?

Now - I may be slightly confused. Were parasitic wasps for winter moth also released in Wellesley? Since my winter moth population is also down.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Pixie,

A specific Tachinid fly that attacks Winter Moth caterpillars has been released in several sights including Wellesley. But it's hard to say why your population is down. Could be the unusual weather in your area.

UMass is leading the research for WM.
Cyzenis albicans is a Tachinid fly that parasitizes winter moth; in fact, winter moth is the only insect that it attacks. This important parasitoid was introduced into Nova Scotia through the 1950�s for winter moth and is now the controlling factor for this serious pest. It was also released in the western United States for winter moth there and showed great success. Cyzenis has now been brought to Massachusetts and a small initial release was performed in May of 2005 in Plymouth County. Following the 2005 release, Cyzenis albicans was released in increasing numbers each year in the following Massachusetts towns: Wenham, MA (2006); Falmouth, MA (2007),Wellesley, Seekonk and Barnstable in 2008 and again in Wellesley in 2009. Several years of releases will be necessary before any measurable effects are seen. The number of release sites is limited each year and at least 1000 flies are released at each site to maximize the chance of successful establishment.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Winter Moth Overview

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 7:12AM
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molie(z6 CT)

Sorry everyone. After I posted independently about my Red Lily Beetle sighting, I scrolled down on the page and found this post. I certainly will read the whole post and then think about a more careful garden walk next spring.

Molie

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:18AM
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elaine_2008

Today I found a beetle on a lily in Narragansett, RI

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:45AM
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debi1315

ok well the little critters are here in upstate NY!we have been watching how beautifully my Lilly trees are growing when my husband discovered a mess of larvae all over our lilies. so upset, they looked to be a beautiful yield this year. so I came in and google what seem to be some sort of red beetle and low and behold here I am. he thouroughly hosed down all of the larvae off the plant and then sprayed some soapy water on them. first thing tomorrow going to buy the strongest thing we can to get rid of them!!!already upset that the chipmmonks ate all my beautiful sunflower seedlings that were growing now this.FYI I live in Troy,ny just across the Hudson River from Albany.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:05PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

debi1315:

According to the June 6, 2014 UMass Extension Landscape Message:

"Lily Leaf Beetle adults remain active but now we are seeing more eggs and feeding larvae. Larvae, which began appearing earlier this week, are easily treated with a product that contains Spinosad. Adult female beetles lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves in jagged lines that are about one inch long. When monitoring for eggs, stand next to a plant and gently fan the foliage upwards to visually inspect the leaf undersides. Make note of small, irregular lines of tan eggs that will be quite apparent on the fresh new lush green foliage. In small planting, leaves with eggs can be physically removed and destroyed. In larger plantings, continue to monitor. The eggs will turn orange and then a deep shiny red just prior to hatching. Treat new larvae with a product that contains Spinosad."

Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew contains Spinosad, and also there's a Monterey Garden Insect Spay. Both of these are available in many nurseries. There may be others that I don't know of.

For general information see the FAQ How do I keep the red lily leaf beetle from destroying my lilies?.

Sorry to hear they're in Troy, NY.

Claire

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:19PM
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joe_267

Just saw my first in the New Haven, CT area.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 10:24PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I added the Troy, NY and New Haven, CT sightings to the FAQ.

Claire

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:38AM
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