Lily beetle

Time to act:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov

Scarlet beetles (6mm - 8mm long) with black heads eat the leaves, flowers and seedpods of lilies and other members of the lily family. Don't mistake them for ladybirds. Between April and September the beetles lay eggs on the undersides of leaves. After a week they hatch into reddish-brown maggot-like grubs, and feed on the same parts of the plant as the parents. Possibly to deter predators or disguise themselves, the larvae cover themselves in their own wet, black excrement.

Symptoms

Lily leaves are shredded and may be covered in brown-black droppings.

Find it on

lilies, fritillaries and Solomon's seal

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Organic

Pick off the grubs and adults as soon as you see them. The adults will drop to the ground at the slightest touch, so spread newspaper under the plants to catch them. Be quick and crush them under foot or they'll fly off.

Chemical

At the first sign of attack, spray plants with sunflower oil. Treatment is more effective on larvae than adults.

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