Stop & smell the flowers, not the lilies beetles - how to control to the destructive invader

Published 20 May 14 05:50 AM | Merv Edinger 

Stop & smell the flowers not the Japanese Lily Beetle - how to control the invader

If you are anything like me, Spring is one of your favorite times of the year. Not only is it the time when our real estate business is usually at its most productive time but in my down time, I get to stroll through my atypical 1/3 acre city lot to enjoy the new growth of our many perennial plants.  We have taken pride to create our own miniature oasis right within the city. The Edinger version of the Public Gardens, just private.

Today, I had such a moment. As I walked through our yard admiring the lilies, one of my favorite flowers, as they poked through the soil. I look forward to their appearance which makes the dread of Winter seem more bearable when I know it is followed by the reemergence of new life in the Spring. Then I saw it! A flash of bright orange tucked between the leaves of one of my giant asiatic lilies.  My nemesis! The Japanese Lily Beetle.

I am sure in their native Japan they must serve a purpose... Perhaps a food source for an exotic bird, a pollinator of some beautiful flower, but they have unfortunately made it to North America where there does not seem to be a natural predator for them or a flower for them to pollinate. Here the adult beetle just seems to eat holes through my lilies, they then lay their small orange colored clusters of eggs on the underside of the leaves, followed by brown gooey clumps of *** covered larvae ( it is their way to protect themselves from predatory insects ) that continue to gorge themselves on my helpless lilies.  And so their 3week life cycles begin.  Adults emerge from the soil once it warms to 5 Celsius; they breed almost immediately or so it seems; lay the eggs; and then emerge the larvae.  The trick to controlling them is to get them at the beginning of the life cycle, if you love your lilies.  Alternatively, you could just not plant their favorite foods: Asiatic lilies, oriental lilies, members of the fratillaria family such as checkered lilies & they seem particularly fond of tiger lilies.  Strangely, they do not seem to bother with day lilies, to my relief.  Although I have spotted them warming themselves on them in the sun. Of course, it you love the aromatic scent of oriental lilies, the large showy flowers in a wide variety of colors, you will find the hassle of the ongoing battle with little orange pest well worth your effort.

Don't worry, all is not lost if you spot them in your garden. There are a variety of ways to help you keep them in check:

Rotonone - is a powdered pesticide available in some areas.  It is very effective in killing the darn bugs at different levels of their life cycle not just at the adult stage.  Of course, with recent acknowledgements of just how destructive and harmful pesticides can be, the sale of it is no longer prohibited in the Halifax Regional Municipality, and perhaps beyond.

Lily beetle traps - I personally have not tried them but they are expensive, need replacement, and from what I have been told by fellow gardeners, are limited in their effectiveness. Available at Home Depot and Kent Building supplies or many of your local greenhouses.

Neem oil - is a natural product that is supposed to be effective on the beetles as well as aphids. I had limited success with it and it must be reapplied after rain, every few days, heavy dew, etc... Available at Halifax Seed and select greenhouses.

Safer's Advant All II, a potassium salt of fatty acids insecticide solution, which is deemed safe to use currently by Halifax County. I tried it today for the first time.  It worked wonders.  The adult beetles crawled out from their hiding places where,I had not even seen any prior to spraying the substance.  I immediately crushed all the beetles that I saw.
 The eggs
 At the larval stage

Hand picking & squishing the little SOBs - Even though it was highly useful & convenient, I still prefer to keep a healthy yard, so I think I will just stick to hand picking the adults off the plants and squishing them and wiping the larval stage off with a paper towel and flushing them.

So stop and smell your... Lilies!
Posted by

Halifax homes for sale - Remax Nova Real estate

Merv Edinger & Associates

Associate broker

Remax Nova

Comment Notification

Subscribe to this post's comments using RSS


# Mariam said on November 6, 2017 10:50 PM:

The effective essay type of the different part of all time. There are some of the best time of the and may concern by the best type of the properties and make more over the time better thing by them.

Leave a Comment


This Blog