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Pauline, underneath every pile of gunge is a lily beetle larva - that is how they protect themselves. The larvae actually cause far more damage than the adult beetles so you need to remove and squish them. Ether use gloves or wipe them off with tissue paper etc. Now you know you have Lily Beetle in your area, keep a sharp eye out for them early next year, from the time the lilies start growing. If you can catch the adults before they mate and lay eggs (which are also bright red), you can limit the damage by the larvae when they hatch.
Thanks bob ...do you know how long it takes for the larva to hatch from this pile of gunge...it might be quite hard to get it all as there is loads and my plants are quite thick in quantity
The larvae have already hatched and are munching away at your lilies right now!
The gunge is actually their poo which they cover themselves with after digesting the lily leaves they are eating (I know, disgusting little devils aren't they?!) If left, they can completely strip all the leaves in just a few days.
If you don't mind using chemicals, you could spray them all with Provado Ultimate Bug Killer, which is a systemic insecticide which will be absorbed into the lily plants and will kill them in short order. Unfortunately, it is toxic to all insects including bees, so if you have to resort to using it, make sure to read the instructions on the spray carefully and try to ensure it only goes on your lilies (bees aren't that keen on lily flowers anyway, so the risk of harming them is relatively low.)
Uh oh. I saw a lovely bright red bug on my lilies yesterday (only planted last year, but unfortunately already devastated by the slugs and snails) and thought what a lovely fellow, such a lovely bright red colour....it never occurred to me what it could be. I think I'll just pull them up because the two (out of six bought last year) that have managed to grow a bit and put out leaves are clearly not going to flower. Boo hoo.
Thanks again bob will try clearing the disgusting clumps by hand first see if that works..will let you know
Daisybi put blue slug pellets in soil around my plants this really does help with the slugs and snails
This is what the larvae look like once some of the poo has been removed...
Lillies are one of my favourite flowers and some of mine this year are covered in poo.
If I missed a year growing them, would the beetles go somewhere else or will they just find another plant to lay their larvae on and return in number the year after.
Zoomer, I don't know about having a year without lilies; I only started to grow them about 4 years ago, and within 1 year the beetles arrived. I guess they are like carrot root fly; they scent their favourite plant from a long way off.
Just been given a new lily plant with 4 plants in the pot all in flower if I keep it indoor in conservatory do you reckon it too will get infected
Think this year I'll cut my losses and cut down the three covered in poo, they are all in the same pot.
Zoomer, the awful creatures would just reappear next year. If you grow lilies you will have lily beetles. Tonight I removed several clumps of larvae. They're widespread in the UK now.
Nature isn't always kind to growers is it...
I sprayed mine with the olive oil,water and washing up liquid after moving loads of black gunge Was too much a wimp to do it with my hands so I used the broken end of a garden cane to scape the gunge covered larva off the leaves then dropped them in soapy water next day just to double my chances I sprayed all my lily plants with provado bug killer...only cos they where all about to bloom....3 days so far so good not holding my breath though ....even went in and treated my next door neighbours lilies we live in hope
Just a few pictures of my lilies quite clean of lilie beetle damage
Have not seen a Lilly bug or larva for a week now since spraying.....bonus too cos all my lilies are now in full bloom :0)
I live in Newcastle and for years have grown lillies in pots, this year they have all been destroyed by red lily beetle, I have killed as many as I can catch but sadly most of my lillies are now nearly dead. If I repot them in new compost next year will this help to get rid of them or will I have to wait till they start to grow and spray them ?
Found these devils on my lillies 2 years ago that had pretty much killed off my orientals 30 or 40 of them, began picking them off by hand and squishing. Now down to a few beetles each season. Perhaps planting in pots with fresh soil each year, like the idea of planting garlic around them as well. Will experiment and advise back.
saw 30 or 40 of these on my lilly patch 2 years ago. Started squishing them now only 5 or 6 per season. Like the idea of interplanting with garlic or perhaps potted with fresh soil each season..will experiment and advise back...squishing continues!
Just a few picture's of my lilies in bloom.