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Hi. I found these two amoruous bugs on my fritillaria imperialis. Are they nasty or benine?



I think it is the dreaded lily beatle. What should I do to get rid of them???


Squash them whenever you see them, but have something underneath as they drop upside down and are then hard to see.

Their grubs can be seen on the underside of leaves, they wrap up in their poo. Disgusting. as no known predator we have to be it.



Kill them- kill them all.......

Seriously- they are a real pest, but when you nab them watch out as they can drop down to the ground on their backs and are hard to spot as their underbits are black.


I squish mine on sight. However, if they feel threatened, they have a tendency to drop off the plant and land on their backs, and their black bellies make them difficult to see, so holding a sheet of white paper under the plant can be helpful Their larvae are truly horrid, and cover themselves with their own excrement, so might look like a bird's droppings. I would recommend using gloves to dispose of these.

They also are partial to fritillaries and, unsurprisingly, lilies so be vigilant.


One f the most useful items when on lily beetle hunt, is an old tea strainer, you can catch the beetles in this, transfer them to an area of hard standing amd squash them to your hearts content.  It is probably best not to use your grandmothers favourite silver tea stainer used for the earl grey, but a cheap plastic or metal one works just as well. 


Ups. Yes not beatle...

I shall go out on a killing spree now!


They're quite hard to squish. You need to dig a nail in.

lazy gardener wrote (see)

Beetle not beatle

Does it matter, we know what he means!


Provado ultimate bug killer. Do it now and they should stay clear for about 6 weeks. Don't spray when near to flowering or the bees get poisoned as well. I don't normally spray but I make an exception for lily beetle as  birds won't touch them.


I must admit as a pretty anti chemical gardener, I have been known to use Provado for my large collection of lilies, with very little conscience.  The darned beetles are not a natural species here so nothing recognises them as prey, that colour makes them something so self repecting bird would try - so we are stuck up a gum tree with teastrainers and /or provado!!

happycottontail wrote (see)

What a beautiful hosta, Gail.  Do you know its name?


PS I have this hosta, if I remember correctly it is called 'whirlwind'

Bookertoo - Provado is a systemic insect killer which is taken up by the plant and makes it toxic to ALL insects, including those we do want as well as those we don't.  As well as killing Lilly Beetles, you're also killing bees, etc, because the nectar and pollen will contain the the insecticide.  I've stopped using Provado for that very reason.  I do use a tea strainer - the spring loaded tea ball one - looks like this.....

Best bit of gardening equipment for capturing Lilly Beetles ever invented!



In fact all my lilies are grown in pits and are thus separated from the rest of the plants and insects - I did it once when we went to America and knew I would come back to 100 black sticky sticks and nothing else - usually it is just the tea strainer!!

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