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in Problem solving
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!