The Evil Beetle

Are Red Lily Beetles Destroying your Lilies?

Have you walked out to your gardens lately and noticed a very hungry beetle has moved in?

This beetle is the Red Lily Beetle which is definitely a ‘bad bug’ and devastates lilies. These beetles prefer true lilies and fortunately do not bother Daylilies (Hemerocallis).  If you have lilies in your gardens (Asiatic, Oriental, Easter and Turk’s) pay attention weekly for the bright red beetles and also for the eggs on the undersides of the foliage.  Examine the leaves for tan-colored, irregular-shaped lines about one inch long. These tan lines will be a row of eggs.  Just before hatching, these eggs turn a bright red color.  When eggs are found, they can be removed and destroyed.

If you only have a few plants in your gardens, hand-picking adults and eggs can be successful. Another option to control the reproduction of the Red lily Beetle is to use an insecticide.  Products containing Neem and Spinosad are effective on the larvae and should be applied weekly. Neem is also sold as Bon-Neem. Spinosad is sold as Monterey Garden Insect Spray. Both of these organic products will need to be applied weekly during the growing season and have been found to be effective. Whichever method (handpick or insecticide) you prefer will make it possible for you to enjoy lilies in your garden this summer.

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Mr. Fixit June 25, 2011 at 01:53 PM
Sevin, another common insecticide available both as a powder and as a wettable powder, also works well in controlling these beetles. Have also found these voracious beetles on our Perennial Hibiscus, which are located near our the Asian Lillies.
Melissa T. June 25, 2011 at 03:41 PM
I am using Concern an organic insecticide weekly and I have been able to keep them under control. The first year I noticed them they had a feast and I had no flowers but now I win and they lose.
Diane St John June 25, 2011 at 04:15 PM
Sevin is far to dangerous an insecticide to use if you have children or pets. Please, organic spray or not, you want to be sure to ONLY target spray for a known pest, never blanket spray everything as this kills beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs. Homeowners in the U.S. have such easy access to purchase the top most widely used harmful pesticides, including Preen, Sevin and 2,4D (which is in most weed and feed lawn applications). Please read these labels and seriously think about using them. Do some research on the chemicals themselves before purchasing. Many of Canada's provinces have banned and Big Box stores no longer sell these chemicals-all for the safety of Canadian residents. My father in law is in his 70's and he goes out daily to his wife's lilies and scouts for these beetles. Thanks to his persistence she will have beautiful flowers very soon. Thanks for showing this top garden pest!


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