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Am I the only natural predator of the...

Posted by jey_l (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 30, 10 at 10:24

asian beetle or lily beetle as it is referred to? Anyone else having problems with them this year? I've tried the Garden Dust which was highly recommended as the best and only way to get rid of them but they seem to just powder their noses with it and go about their merry way chowing on the lilies. Has anyone had any success getting rid of these creatures?


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 30, 10 at 15:17

If you're talking about the red lily leaf beetle, we have a How do I keep the red lily leaf beetle from destroying my lilies? FAQ with a lot of information. The UMass extension also has an excellent Lily Leaf Beetle Fact Sheet.

The Asiatic Garden Beetle is an entirely different scourge.

I don't know what Garden Dust is, but I used Bayer Rose and Flower Spray for several years with good results, and the last few years I've had very few beetles with minimal damage. The few beetles I saw this year I squished or sprayed directly and my lilies are doing fine. There's a parasitic wasp that only affects the lily leaf beetle, and it has been released in various regions in MA. I'm close to one region (on Cape Cod), so I may be reaping the benefits.

Depending on how you feel about pesticides there are several good alternatives that do work, such as neem, spinosad and imidacloprid (see the references).

Claire


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

I bought Garden Dust last year. But I found it really hard to use - I had to squeeze the container and the dust would come out of the top, which made it really difficult to dust anything near the ground. Nevermind the fact that I always had to worry about which way the wind was blowing.

This year I bought a product called "Garden Safe". It's a multi purpose garden insect killer. It comes as a spray/squirt bottle. I buy it at Walmart. I think I pay about $3.99 a bottle. And I'm on my 4th bottle so far this year.

I like the fact that I can technically use it up to the day of harvest on my vegetables. I've been using it for both the Red Lilly Beetle and Squash Vine Borer and for whatever is eating my basil. I did have to spray every 3 days for RLB. But I've been successful just spraying once a week for SVB.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

i have found that the Bayer Rose and Garden Spray works best for me, not least because it is a systemic and lasts several weeks before i need to re-apply. great stuff, tho i am careful when and how i use it, of course, to protect the beneficial beasties.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

"...but they seem to just powder their noses with it and go about their merry way..."

LOL! Certainly, those beetles are not funny, what with the terrible damage they do, but that was a great line, jey!

:)
Dee
who's hoping those parasitic wasps work their way down this end of NE - and fast!


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

I'm hoping the parasitic wasps make their way northward to Vermont. (My poor tiger lilies!) I wonder if any other states besides RI have released the wasps. I don't imagine this specific type of wasp is available for sale anywhere?


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 1, 10 at 11:53

According to the UMass Extension Fact Sheet (link in above post), the parasitic wasps (parasitoids) were released in RI, MA, NH, and ME.

As far as I know you can't buy them.

Claire


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Hi, Thanks everyone. I'm new here and am having problems navigating back to my posts. This year was my first introduction to the creatures and it has not been fun. Of the few lilies that actually got to blossom they were very weak and were blown apart it one of moderate wind storms. I'm not too well versed on the different species but the tiger lilies I know and they were fine. I also had some red and orange ones that are about a foot and a half tall that did fairly well but toward the end were showing signs on their leaves. The ones that got the hardest hit are the sunniest/tallest ones.

Thanks for the links and recomendation I will definitely try them out.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Gee, spedigrees, it looks like they left you (VT) and me (CT) out! Hey, not fair! We want parasitic wasps too!

Well, I guess we just have to wait and hope they make their way to our area soon. And let's hope more beetles don't come first, in an effort to escape the wasps, lol!

:)
Dee


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LOL Dee! It does seem we were left out!

I'm encouraged that so many NE states participated, and I imagine it will be just a matter of time until they work their way from MA to you and from NH across the river to me.

Thanks for this info Claire; I really feel better knowing this.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

I hand pick those red beetles, and squeeze the eggs on the down side of the leaves and ugly larva if I missed some eggs. So far only little damage had done to my lilies. I think I have close to 130 lilies. Asiatic lilies multiply fast and I love oriental lilies. I do see a lot swaps flying in my garden. I think grasshoppers are eating my plants. A lot of holes on the leaves, but I don't see any insects. It's hard to slugs to get up to a seven and half sunflower to eat its leaves. I don't use pesticide often. The ladybugs my neighbor released most settle in my home. Three year ago, we had ladybugs invasion in October. I had to use a duster to dust them out of my house. Since then every October there are at least couple dozen of ladybugs try to winterize in my house. They pest to me when they invading my house.

Do any one know a tan beetle with black spots?They are the same size as the Japanese beetles. They love to eat my rose flowers.


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I'm glad to hear they have already released the wasps, I hope they find my yard soon. I hand pick here, but you can't slow down your efforts or they're right back up to damaging levels again.

Snowling, I think Dee just identified those on another thread as Oriental Beetles.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Yes, snowling, I think you are describing Oriental beetles. For me, they are one of the worst pests. They eat all my coneflowers and daisies especially. They love daylilies too, but the damage is not as apparent since the daylilies are only in bloom for one day.

:)
Dee


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Not sure I feel to comfortable about wasps but if they get rid of the beetles they are okay in my book.

I was up in VT a few months ago thinning out lilies galore and I thought they weren't up there as I saw no signs of them. This was in the W Rutland(?) area.

Snowling888, what I noticed about these beetles is that the larvae did the most destruction. Wherever I found an area where I had missed the eggs (blind in one eye can't see with the other) was where the most destruction was.

On the lady bugs I hope you saved them or at least sold them back to your neighbor. The first time I had ever seen such a thing I had just moved into a house on the CT shoreline. It was late winter and the house had been vacant for a while so there was about 4" of what I thought were dead lady bugs in the south side windows but as I kept putting off cleaning them out (as other things were more important at the time and it was just too cold to get the old windows open without much ado) they just started waking up and made a mass exodus so I only had a few to clean. My yard and gardens were loaded them. When they started showing up in the windows again someone told me to vacuum them up with some nylons in the hose and put them in a box with an exit hole and place it in a sunny place outside. I ended up with about 4 shoeboxes full of them. In an effort to avoid the hassle the next year I finally got around to replacing the windows and I ended up building ladybug houses that seemed to keep them happy. Not sure if I have any pics of them kicking around but I will post a drawing. It was very simple and whoever lived in the house prior left behind all types of cheap (and very ugly) picture frames so I used the glass from them. I did had to modify the original design though because it ended up being a popular bird feeder during the winter but when I put the gap on the top instead of on the bottom it worked out well.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Yes, just the name 'parasitic wasp' sends shivers of horror through me. It's like something from a grade B horror movie! However they can't get here fast enough!

Jey, we're about 25 miles south of W. Rutland. I first noticed a few of the red beetles on my tiger lilies last summer, but this summer the scourage really began in earnest. Sounds like their population is localized here. A small garden center opened down the road from us, and I think perhaps some of these pests have ridden in on their wholesale plants.

I get only a few ladybugs in my house in the fall and winter, but I'd be interested in seeing your ladybug houses (in case their numbers increase massively at some point.)


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Hi Spedigrees,

They have not even touched the tigers here. I wouldn't loath them so much if they did as they seem to get a bit invasive. It is actually the big tall ones I have/had that they love so much.

Couldn't find any pictures and anything that had never made it onto a computer is unfortunately lost forever. When I made these the 1st time I was young and clueless and considered the glass because 1) They seemed to love the windows and 2) I had boxes of the ugliest picture frames you've ever seen and had no clue what to do with them.

As I stated above I was clueless about ladybugs and was out in the winter taking them down when the birds started to gather and eat them. They also seemed to ignore the ones that were "hanging in the breeze" so most ended up mounted to brackets or poles. They would usually fill up to about 2" from the top. They apparently don't mind the cramped quarters.

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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Thanks Jey, for the interesting drawings of your ladybug houses. One advantage to the glass walls is the easy viewing. Did you use some sort of pheromone lure to attract the ladies to the houses or did they just take up residence on their own? That is funny that the birds regarded the houses as feeders, but they DO look like bird feeders, and the poor ladybugs probably made a tasty meal. Thanks for posting the designs and for all the info on ladybugs.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Well the original ones really were bird feeders.

In those days if you had said "beneficial insects" to me I would have been certain you were talking about the pests from Beneficial Household Finance who felt it their obligatory duty to call me bright and early on Sat mornings to congratulate me on the most mundane non accomplishment someone felt necessary to publish in the paper.

At the time I was too naive. If you had asked if I had a ladybug house or knew what one was I would have said no. They were just these things I made to keep them from going into the windows.

Pheromones? Isn't that what we got as kids when we ate too much fried dough, cotton candy and other fat filled, sugar coated, fruit drowning, deep fried, blue ribbon winning, artery clogging concoctions that the old folks spent all year dreaming up to feed the kids at the fairs? "Well honey we didn't win the blue ribbon this year but did you see the shade of blue on Tater's little boy's face when he went on the Tilt-A-Whirl after eating it?"

Even if the over abundance of food and fun didn't cause them we'd all get the fair-moans Sunday afternoon when the rides and barkers would go silent and the grand poobah, fair master of fair masters, would announce the closing indicating it was time to start loading the animals and muck out the stalls. Nope, no alluring odors here. Plenty o' fair-moans though. "Eeew mister, what have you been feeding these animals?" I'm sure they heard us in China.

I did nothing but equate the fact that they liked the windows with the pile of picture frames along with the advise that I wanted to keep them around from a newfound friend ("Hattie" my 85+ year old sweetie that made all my girl friends jealous) and an interest in stories about flowers and gardens that didn't stretch on for miles over the horizon and involve tractors, livestock, chemicals, banks or the government. I would have just sucked them up and thrown them away if it weren't for her. She was a friend and neighbor of the previous owner for her entire life and the gardens (at the time overgrown and neglected) were originally planted by their grandparents. She was the one who saved their lives. She had saved the gardens too as I was ready to pull everything out to plant vegetables and grass. Turns out many of the flowers that grew were edible too and for the life of me I can't remember what a single one was and I had many of them up until just a few years ago.

See how quick one can go from young and naive to old and senile?

I've had plants and gardens for many years and have been accused of having a green thumb but can assure you it's been pure dumb luck. I plant things and walk away and they thrive. Aside from the vegetables and herbs that I consume in copious quantities I never knew what the names of the plants were and never really thought twice about it. They were always just there. Now that I have retired and am more interested in stopping to smell the flowers and am trying to replace what I had I am paying more attention to what they are but they seem to be falling apart. Even my vegetables this year aren't doing so well.

I am for certain the worst gardener by many's standards as I welcome much of the critters everyone considers pests with the only exception being bugs ( mainly wasps so you could imagine my excitement to the solution for the lily beetles). I was even out buying strawberries for the chipmunks this year when the season passed.


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Yep, those are the blasted red lily leaf beetles and they decimated my lilies. Totally destroyed them.

I used the Bayer powder in our front yard with some limited success. It does NOT kill on contact. Could not use it near the pond as it's toxic to fish. I sprayed with Neem and also treated the spoil with 10% ammonia. Not only did they thumb their noses at me, they started attacking phlox and peonies when there were no more lilies to be had. I pulled up the lilies and await word that the wasps have eradicated them. Then I'll plant again, as I do so love the asiatic lilies.


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hahahahahah fair o moans.... Love it!


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Hi everyone,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your tips, links and letting me know that I am not alone. I am going to be pulling up all the potted lilies and stinking up an old friends neighborhood for few days using a kiln to sterilize the soil. From all that I can gather the best time to really reduce their population is to burn them in their beds so to speak so I am going to be giving it a try. For all the others I am going to pull them up as well as I am moving in Oct. anyway and use a hefty dose diatomaceous earth in the yard and on the garden areas.

I have used it quite extensively in the past and am not really thrilled with it's indiscriminate nature but will do it when the bees and other bugs have gone. I will give these gardens and the yard a good dusting as well as the new location when I finally lake up my mind where I want to move to. I figure that will get the majority of them when they try to emerge in the spring.

Thanks again.


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I think the lady bugs that are invading houses are an alien species brought in a number of years ago by the USDA to contol aphids (?). About 15 years ago I remember these lady bugs caused a bit of a stir in the news as many homes were being invaded during the fall months; almost as bad as cluster flies - the state bird.


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Hi sj,

Yes the foreigners did create quite a stir. My experience predates that about 25 years though. NY has determined the native species extinct but here in CT they are still around. Not as plentiful as in the past and at my current location almost nonexistent but I do take note when I see them. This is another reason I am not so sure about the parasitic wasps after reading about them in some of the links above. They pose to do more harm than good as many of the pollinators appear to be some of their prey as well as the ladybugs.


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Found my first Red Lily Beetle this morning. Not sure which of my lily plants it is on - I have 3 different varieties in the front garden where I see the beetle. Good thing I bought my pesticides last week. I'll be out spraying later on today.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 21, 11 at 11:30

pixie_lou: I added your sighting to the How do I keep the red lily leaf beetle from destroying my lilies? FAQ. It's a good thing to keep in mind that as soon as your fritillaries or lilies start popping out of the ground, the beetles will too (if they're in the soil).

Claire


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

Claire - if you want a more detailed location for your FAQ - you can put me down at Rt 128 and the Pike.

I was going out to put Grub X (imitiacloropid - or however you spell it) on all my irises today. So I applied it to all my lillies as well. Plus sprayed all my lillies with Garden Safe. A lot of my lillies haven't even emerged out of the ground yet - so I'll be on weekly lilly sprout watch, pesticides in hand.


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RE: Am I the only natural predator of the...

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 21, 11 at 20:34

Location clarified in FAQ - thanks, pixie_lou.

Claire


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