It is me against the Red Lily Beetle. And they are multiplying into an army.
I have to admit that without the internet, I would have not had a clue that I had a problem. But, I saw a little red beetle on my lily plants and decided to look it up. [I saw them last year and didn't pay them much attention]. Apparently these little buggers are a big problem. They can eat lilies all the way down to the ground. And they can last all summer and will overwinter and come back next year! I knew last year my plants had holey leaves, but I didn't realize that by not killing them then would help them takeover this year.
After a little research about how to get rid of them, I went out and knocked the beetles into a cup and then smushed them. I think I got about 10-12 beetles, several of them while mating. Phew - I was feeling pretty good about that. Some people reported killing them by the hundreds.
But, the window was still open on my computer later and I read another site that my google search had found. The larvae are the big eaters. I hadn't killed the larvae. Nor had I looked for eggs.
The eggs I found without much difficulty. They are bright orange and layed in rows on the underside of the leaves. I found 5-6 leaves with groups of eggs and crushed them. That just left the larvae.
Now the larvae are the hardest because they disguise themselves. As best I can tell, they look like little black specks all over the leaves. Holy cow - I had a lot of little black specs!!!! Oh-no! That can't be good.
The advice I found was to wipe down the leaves with a soapy cloth. This took a while (I have about 12 lily plants), and I am sure I didn't get them all. Maybe the soap will kill them? Well, here's to hoping. I am going to keep a close eye on them for the next few weeks.
The last thing left to try is sprinkling black pepper on the leaves & soil below. I only found this in one place, but I have pepper, so why not give it a try.
Hopefully, with all of this work I will end up with some nice lilies this year.
2 months ago