Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:13
Aha Zoomer, they caught you out too huh? No, although they do go into the compost for the winter, where they hatch out into the following years red horrors, the eggs are laid on the leaves of the lily. Each egg becomes a first stage larva, and then coveres itself with its own excreta, sticking it to the leaf. If you look under the leaves, you will see black sticky spots, slightly irregular in shape, each is a lily beetle larva. They need removing to reduce the numbers that will grow over the winter and hatch into full beetles next spring. Use an old cloth or something to wipe it off with, it is all quite disgusting. Some of my leaves were so full of it that I just took off the whole leaf. So far, that has not been necessary this year. The beetles themselves come out less when it is cool, and in numbers when it gets warmer. If you have found 4, there are many more somewhere. Sometimes you see them on other plants on their way (I assume) from one plant to the next. They eat fritillaries as well, but not day lilies which are not a member of the true lily family. Some people have had such infestations that they have moved over to day lilies from asiatic or other lilies. You do need to keep yur eyes open, they're there, the little perishers!