Red lily beetles emerge in the spring ready to wage war on your lilies. These ferocious bugs can devour your lilies in a matter of weeks preventing them from blooming. The trick to controlling them lies in being ready when the first scarlet beetle emerges in the spring.
The first line of defense, of course, is handpicking - but don't forget to inspect the undersides of leaves for rows of red-orange eggs, too.
Remove the red lily beetles and eggs by hand deposit them in a jar of soapy water to kill them - some report using ammonia or bleach in the jar (but never mix the two as they can cause lethal fumes and may kill off more than your lily beetles!)
Check nearby plants for lily beetles too. Many report that the adult beetle can often be found hiding in hostas or other plants.
Use Neem to control lily beetles if handpicking doesn't keep them under control. Neem is a plant based pesticide that doesn't pose a risk to bees. It does need to be reapplied on a 5 to 7 day schedule to keep lily beetles under control.
Controlling red lily beetles on Oriental lilies provides more detailed information about red lily beetles and commercial pesticides effective for their control.
Until next time . . . HAPPY GARDENING!
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