Spray Grannick's Bitter Apple from the pet store or something similar that tastes awful. It is water soluble so if it rains, you have to respray. It is completely innocuous, but you need a mask and it's good to wear gloves. If you don't, you could be tasting the spray on your lips and/or hands.
I also use something called Super Repellent," and it is great. It has an oil base, so it does not matter if it rains. The only problem is that if you do not dilute and mix according to directions, you can burn the leaves, and these new sprouts are too tender. It is essential oils, the the aroma is oil of clove. Even works for the stinking lily beetle.
I used to have the same problem. If you plant daffodils near your lilies rabbits and voles will stay away, because they have a strong sense of smell, and they know tham to be poisonous. I've gotten 100% protection from voles and rabbits using them. Find a small, early one with unobtrusive foliage (who wants big strapping decaying foliage on their lilies?)
Please try it - lots of people on this forum have, and it works.
Donna, you are fortunate that the red lily beetle has not found its way to Illinois as it has in the northeast. It can decimate your lily garden and frits. They love to chew on buds and blooms. If you touch them, they drop to the ground on their backs, and the underside is black, so they are almost invisible. I've learned to put one hand below them where they often drop before trying to take them off the leaf. I am guilty of Lilioceris lilii-cide.
It was really surprising to find a lily beetle on the underside of a peony leaf. Since I only spray lilies, maybe the spray is working. I am quite certain that when a bud or bloom is bitten off that it is deer (they jump fences). Rabbits often take down the bud and half the stem is broken off in my yard.
I just bought a new organic pesticide that should kill lily beetles, but I still think that the applications of bad tasting stuff does the best to deter all the diners.
There isn't the kind of popupation density here that would help the beetle spread. And no one around me grows them, odd as it may sound. The only lilies I ever see are the ones in my yard. There's just no interest in them. People here still think that lilies are finicky, expensive plants. In my old community, only one person other than me grew lilies - all white - very pretty. Then they moved away. One person had Silk Road. And that was after they saw it in my yard. Since I'm a runner, I ran past every house.
And the one lily society in Illinois is tiny. Never thought I'd appreciate such a lack of interest - but I do.
I never considered lilies finicky, as they grow with such little encouragement. When we moved here, there were some stargazers in the front garden. I've always loved lilies, and I knew I had to grow them as orientals are too fragrant as indoor cuttings. I carried them in my wedding bouquet, and every year we would order an arrangement. The aroma was so strong that we had to put them out on the deck for part of the time, and then we just stopped ordering them.
We were fortunate that the previous owner was a gardener. She had made an appropriate shade garden and a few peonies and tree peonies, but made the mistake of adding houttuynia in one of the gardens which has been a nemesis for 7 years.
I always buy some new bulbs every year, and they never fail to produce. They even look like the picture on the package. They are big sellers in all the stores and garden centers here. Your neighbors don't know what they're missing, do they?
We're on an older, well treed street, and many of the neighbors have azaleas, hostas and japanese maples, but not many of our neighbors are flower gardeners. It is for that reason that I love to have flowers in the front gardens by the sidewalk for passers by, including runners.
Its like that in this neighborhood. No one ( well amybe one person )had a flower garden.
The gardens I have are visible from the street. Neighbor next door gardens but insists on easy care plants that are fast spreaders. She has a nice hosta garden under her black walnut trees and accepts plants from me if they are self reliant.
Neighbor across the street says she is a gardener but had a landscape desighner come and do everything.
I got carries away with lilies 3 years ago. Now I am obcessed.I really have to stop because I believe it's possible to overstate the plant in one landscape.
I do like the mix of tall ones and border varieties.
I do get a bit obsessed. However, I am always sharing. Besides what's in the ground, I plant lots in containers and do a lot of gifting. I always hope the recipients will catch on and decide to try a few lilies on their own.