Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I am at War

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.


me said...

major bummer to have bug problems in the garden - good luck with finding a cure that doesn't kill the rest of the flowers & fauna...keep trying, a solution will be worth the time & patience!

Danielle said...

I had this exact problem with my lily plants when we lived in Sutton! We never got rid of them and they did eat the lilies to the ground... good to know that I have to take care of them ASAP if I see them again.
Best of luck in the war!

Shelly said...

hmmmm...I better go and check my plants. This is my first year with a garden to tend to and I have no clue what I'm doing!