Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lily Beetles

(YAWWWWN,.....stretch) Hello. Cleo the Office Cat here...

Ok, bugs are NOT my forte. I just know that they're fun to chase, and with the exception of stink bugs, occasionally fun to taste! But, the staff here has asked me "carry my weight" and to share some information with you regarding Lily Beetles. It seems that someone contacted them on their Facebook page with a question about how to deal with them in a safe and natural way. Since I don't know anything about these creepy crawly things, I have done a little research.

According to Wikipedia, "Lily Beetles (Lilioceris lilii), or red / leaf lily beetle, is a leaf beetle that eats the leaves, stem, buds and flower of lilies, fritillaries and other members of the family Liliaceae. They mainly lay their eggs on Lilium and Fritillaria species. Observed in absence of Lilium and Fritillaria species, the numbers of eggs laid were significantly less and the survival rate of eggs and larvae were lowered. It is now a pest in most temperate climates where lilies are cultivated. Lily leaf beetles overwinter in the soil and come out early in spring whereas adults stay in moist environments."

As far as how to eradicate them, it seems my owners have a customer named Carolyn who offered a successful and earth friendly way to rid your Lilies of Lily Beetles. Carolyn says to try this:

1 - Hose the lilies down with water.
2 - Absolutely cover them with wood ashes, top and bottoms of the leaves covered.
3 - Wait 15 minutes.
4 - Hose off with water again.
5 - Watch, if you see them again, do it again.

It seems Carolyn has done this on two separate occasions and had 100% success. Now, it's your turn to try. Then, if you don't mind, let us know what you think of how it works! Just send me an email and I'll forward it on to my owners. I'd reply directly, but I'll probably be napping. Even though I'm a beautiful feline, I still need my beauty sleep to stay this way!

All the best,



  1. Better way (I don't really believe the above system)
    I chase them with a $2 sprayer with cold water
    when I see one (they smell lilies from 2 km far away)I spray a little cold water over them (otherwise they drop on the ground)and put them in a small pot with water and a drip liquid soap
    they drown in a minute



  2. Forgot

    If you are to late with removing them
    take away the orange eggs under the leaves
    you can spray off the larvae (the mud around them is shit) with a hose
    most of the time they die there because there is nothing to eat
    this doesn't work if there are a lot of other plants around them so they can climb up again


  3. The adults do little damage. It's the fecal covered larvae that will eat your Asiatic Lilies to the ground. They don't bother my Orientals standing right next to the Asiatics. Hand pick the red beetles and squish em. Then check the underside of the leaves for the larvae, and squish them too.

    The good news is that the University of Rhode Island is releasing parasitic wasps that will kill the larvae. If you find some large larvae the URI entomology dept would like you to send them to them. In this way they can track how far the wasps have traveled from their release points.

    Happy beetle picking.