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I finally managed to get 8 rows of potatoes planted this evening (it has been too wet in the East Midlands to do heavy work on my clay soil for the last month), so decided to have a look at how my lilies (in pots) were doing before the light faded completely.
Almost every pot had a pair of red lily beetles mating at the top of the highest lilly shoot! It looks like it's time for all the lily-lovers here to start inspecting them for these damaging pests. I'm tempted to spray with a systemic pesticide but will hold-off for now and see if I can control them by hand. Hateful little things!
I found my first Lily beetle in February !!!
I've got 6 pots full of lilies and have not found one bug yet. I think they are keeping hidden out of the rain! But the spray is at hand!
I found about a dozen beetles on my lilies at the weekend. I got rid of them all very safely by crushing them. There were also a similar number of ladybirds in the same lilies, as you can see on these shots:
If you spray with the intention of getting rid of lily beetles, you will inevitably destroy beneficial insects too.
Provado, which is commoly used to control lily beetle, is one of the sprays that contains a controversial insecticide, Neonicotinoid, which, some claim, is dangerous to bees. See, for example: Bee Killers (Soil Association)
I have a lot of lilies, and always mangage to control the beetle by checking the plants regularly, and removing the beetles by hand. Fortunately the beetles are bright red, so they are easy to spot, and they don't seem to make any attempt to fly off, so are easy to catch. Then it's just a matter of......
The lily beetles also like crown imperials(fritillaria). I am reluctant to use insecticides. I made a mixture of olive oil ( 150 ml ) washing up liquid ( 300 ml ) plus about 500ml of water. Shake the mixture and spray the beetles. I tried this yesterday and it certainly zapped the beetles.
Hello pest controllers,
Adam's blog on lily beetles gives a few ideas for dealing with them. Constant vigilance seems to be the best option!
Had a brainwave today. Had some left over HEDRIN (eradicates and suffocates head lice) and squirted it on individual beetles. BINGO! They rolled over and suffocated. So if this is kind to kids heads it is gentle on lily leaves. Also, NO organo-phosphates. Hopefully I'll have some beautiful lilies this year. I can't afford too much Hedrin so when I run out I'm going to try Olive Oil with a syringe on them.
10 beetles and 100 eggs crushed yesterday and today. Does nothing native predate these little gits?
Soz no Charlie.. other than squashing the sods. I have one big pot with only bulblets in, no sign of lilies..bulbs were new last year and growth got attacked and lilies feeble. Rest of pots ok. I'm retired now so my life mission is to kill as many as I can.
I've grown lilies in pots for 11 yrs and last year was the first time I'd ever seen a beetle.
I don't know what you mean by eggs..all I've found is their dung under leaves, which they lay eggs in, I'm told...Please tell me what to look for re: eggs.
I didnt know about the lily beatle's eggs so will start to check under the leaves , at least using the oil will get a good shine , wonder if it will make the leaves slippery for the beatles . At the moment all the lily beatles I catch that would eat my lillies go into my carniverous plants .
Lily beatles eat my plants , I pick them off by hand , I feed to my Carniverous plants on the windowsill. Feed to a Carniverous plant and stand back and listen to the scream !
They eat my plants - my plants eat them !
KEF, lily beetle eggs are also bright red and very small (less than 1mm), usually layed in clusters. You need to check beneath every leaf, especially the lowest ones. Once they hatch they start eating the leaves and cover themselves with their own dung to hide themselves. They are an invader from overseas and have no natural predators in the UK.
Rows of tiny little red "cod liver oil capsules" about 1mm long, stuck to the underside of the leaf. I doubt they do very well on the ground if you brush them off. I'm sure they don't do well at all if you squash them.
Last year when they first appeared I thought they were beautiful, I had never seen or heard of them before. They also made sweet squeaking noises. I left them. Wrong! They destroyed my lily plants. Little buggers. This year I am on patrol and 3 days ago found 3. Got my HEDRIN squirted them and they have gone. So far no more sightings but I must look 5/6 times a day.
Good news: they can't swim.
I have a bird bath between the lily patch and the flower bed that includes lilies. Grab a beetle, flick it into the water and forget it.
I've found a few on my lilies,not as many as last year,but they have now left this world.