Photo by Melody

Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii)

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Order: Coleoptera (ko-lee-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Chrysomelidae
Genus: Lilioceris
Species: lilii

Profile:

1 positive
1 neutral
12 negatives

Regional...

This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Dayville, Connecticut
Northford, Connecticut
Stamford, Connecticut
Wallingford, Connecticut
Durham, Maine
Holden, Maine
South China, Maine
West Newfield, Maine
Amherst, Massachusetts
Assonet, Massachusetts
Billerica, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts
Brockton, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Duxbury, Massachusetts
Framingham, Massachusetts
Franklin, Massachusetts
Halifax, Massachusetts
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Medway, Massachusetts
Northbridge, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
South Hamilton, Massachusetts
Springfield, Massachusetts
Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Wayland, Massachusetts
, New Brunswick
Exeter, New Hampshire
Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire
Croton On Hudson, New York
Rochester, New York
Syracuse, New York
Webster, New York
Tiverton, Rhode Island
Chester, Vermont

By Erynne
Thumbnail #1 of Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) by Erynne

By wallaby1

Thumbnail #2 of Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) by wallaby1

By wallaby1

Thumbnail #3 of Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) by wallaby1

By wallaby1

Thumbnail #4 of Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) by wallaby1

By wallaby1

Thumbnail #5 of Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) by wallaby1

By wallaby1

Thumbnail #6 of Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) by wallaby1

By Sarahskeeper

Thumbnail #7 of Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) by Sarahskeeper

There are a total of 16 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Member Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative Erynne On Jul 31, 2006, Erynne from Orangeville, ON
(Zone 4b) wrote:

Apparently this is a minor pest in Canada but can be destructive to host plants. Host plants include: Lily species, Lily of the Valley & Solomon's Seal.
I discovered this beetle on one of my Asiatic Lilies as well as another on one of my brugs. So far, I'm not certain what kind of damage they are causing but I'm killing them just the same.
They are native to North Africa and Europe but were discovered in Eastern Canada in the 1940's. This brilliant red beetle measured about 7mm long and 4mm wide. This is approximate because I took these measurements after I squished it. I didn't see these beetles in my garden last year but then again I didn't have the lilies I have now either.

Negative cicimclay On May 20, 2007, cicimclay from Holden, ME wrote:

These nasty little fellows have destroyed my Asiatic lilies and my fritillaria bulb plants in past years. They become passive and fall off the leaf or stem when you attempt to remove them from the plant. I've found leaning the plant over a container and knocking them off into the container the best practice. If you put water with dish soap in the container it kills the beetle. So far I'm catching them before total destruction this year.
5/19/07 Zone 4/5 Bangor/Ellsworth Maine region

Negative northgrass On May 26, 2007, northgrass from West Chazy, NY
(Zone 4b) wrote:

This beetle first appeared on my lilies last summer. It was late in the season when I noticed the extensive damage to my plants, some had most of their leaves chewed off. They were loaded with the red adult beetles as well as the repulsive larvae and their excrements. I had to resort to spraying.
This spring, I kept a watch for them and found many that I squashed. It seem to have helped, so far no big infestation, of course, it is still early.
If I find some larvae, I will try the recommended Neem pesticide on them, it is said to kill the larvae and deter the adults

Negative mellymass On Jul 30, 2007, mellymass from Metrowest, MA
(Zone 6a) wrote:

Sheesh new to gardening and after a couple of weeks of trying to figure out what was putting major holes in my asiactics I found this guy on them. Now to figure out how to get rid of it!

Negative Sarahskeeper On Apr 24, 2008, Sarahskeeper from Brockton, MA
(Zone 6a) wrote:

I spray my lilies when I spray the fruit trees, works fine for a week.
Mostly I hand pick and squish adults and eggs. Some lily clusters never have much trouble, others are repeatedly infested.
Andy P

Negative milkbonehappy On May 21, 2008, milkbonehappy from Chester, VT
(Zone 5a) wrote:

These little devils totally destroyed my Turk's cap (asiatic) lilies. The first summer I noticed them, they did minor damage to the plants - some holes on the leaves. The second summer, the damage was worse, and this past summer, almost all the leaves were destroyed before the plant could bloom. The blooms were stunted and malformed. I had been picking off the beetles when I saw them, but this spring I decided to take drastic action. I repeatedly went through the foliage of my lilies as soon as they popped through the soil in the spring hoping to stem the infestation early. I pulled off every visible beetle, repeating this multiple times. However, each day I'd check the plants and find many more. Where they'd been hiding, I don't know. Finally I gave up and pulled the plants. I read that they are difficult to control and rather than let them spread to other asiatic lilies in your yard or the neighbors, bad infestations should be treated by destroying the plant. I waited awhile before planting some new asiatic lilies, in a different location far from the location where the infested lilies were located. I hope this works. I hate those little buggers.

Negative irisMA On Jun 16, 2008, irisMA from South Hamilton, MA wrote:

Several yrs ago they destroyed our few lilies. Last fall I decided to try some more and of this month they have returned. I am looking for the site that describes the reseach occuring at the U. of Rhode Island. I have been told by a European correspondant that they eat many things but only lay eggs on lilies & fritillaries. The beetles have appeared but flowers are not open, just the buds so information on how the flowers are located? I don't think that anyone near us grows lilies. Watch out that the orange eggs don't drop on the ground as the eggs will mature there.

Negative TLou On Jun 3, 2009, TLou from North Haverhill, NH wrote:

Yuck. I hate these things. I garden in MA and NH, and in NH they are destroying my lillies [also my Checkered lillies]. I have been suashing them, but they come back. They seem to fall into the mulch or dirt at the base of the plant, roll over so you can't see the red on them, and hide. What to do? Someone said Neem? I'll try anything. Yuck again.

Negative mygarden5 On Jun 13, 2009, mygarden5 from Essex Junction, VT wrote:

Disgusting invader. I have feverously squashed them since early spring, fully knowing the damage they cause. When I first encountered them a couple years back the red beatles seemed to do little damage. The offspring however is another matter.. I am a little squimish about bugs, but now in a vengence, when I see a line of red eggs, I mash them with my hands. When the larvae are allowed to develope they devour the leaves rapidly. I monitor my lilies daily and scrape the larvae into a solution of soapy water. (They hide on the underside of the leaves, so this means gettting down to chipmunk level). I thought I had them under control at one point, but it has been an ongoing battle. I try to avoid pesticides, however, I am at a loss as to how to control these pests.

Interestingly, I have the same variety of lillies in my garden less then 20 feet away that are unaffected. They share space with foxgloves. Any connection?

Positive Zaragoza On Dec 14, 2009, Zaragoza from Zaragoza
Spain
(Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a very nice jewel that feeds in Liliaceae, above all I saw in native Lilium in the wild, but also in cultivated Lilium. Is not common but not rare. There are a more nice and much rarer species that is Lilioceris merdigera, with red legs.

Negative cathy166 On Apr 7, 2010, cathy166 from Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b) wrote:

In one day of warm weather, this pest made dinner of my fritillaria I use sprays that protect the plant to make it less desirable to eat.

Water soluble sprays need to repeat the application every time there is rain. Sprays of essential oils must be diluted properly or they run the risk of burning the leaves.

Negative robertach On May 17, 2011, robertach from Waverley, NS, NS wrote:

Found in gardens in Halifax area of Nova Scotia and very hard to eradicate, if not impossible. We have used Neem oil and many other products...no success.

Neutral befr On May 23, 2011, befr from Amherst, MA wrote:

I have tried many strategies but have had good luck with The Bayer Rose and Flower Spray. It controlled them with repeat applications but did not eradicate them.
I recently read that *Spinosad insecticides kill larvae (reported by the UMass Extension) and *Pyrethroid insecticides (Permethrin is one) kill adult beetles (reported by the UMass Extension) .
Spinosad is a natural insecticide
Just do an internet search to find products that include these ingredients. I will be trying them myself this year.

Negative coriaceous On Feb 6, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This beetle arrived (from Europe) in Winchester, MA in 1992 on a shipment of lily bulbs from Europe. It has slowly spread through most of New England and into New York state. It presents such a challenge that most of the gardeners I know in eastern Massachusetts have given up growing lilies.

Orientpet hybrids are said to be the least susceptible. Daylilies are not affected. Fritillaria seem to be as vulnerable as lillies.

I strongly recommend against sending lilies and fritillaria from the area of infestation in the US (New England and New York) to other parts of the country, as this would spread the problem.

A wasp that helps control this beetle where it is native has been released, in a classical biological control program (through the U of Rhode Island). It appears to have established and become an effective control where it was released, but has been slow to spread, apparently because gardens with lilies are now too widely separated, and native lilies have become uncommon.

Systemic insecticides can be used for control, but be aware that they also will kill bees and other nectar feeders.

Adults and lilies both emerge from dormancy in early spring at the same time. The beetles have scarlet backs and are easy to spot. They drop to the ground and roll over to blend in when disturbed---their undersides are black. They also squeak when agitated. To capture one, hold a cup of soapy water under it for it to drop into, then touch it.

Lines of eggs are laid on the undersides of leaves---only on true lilies and fritillaria. Eggs turn scarlet shortly before hatching. Scrape them off the leaves and crush them, or remove the leaf. Remove them from the garden and do not drop them on the ground.

Larvae look like brown slugs and cover themselves with their own frass (feces). To capture larvae, wear rubber gloves and scrape them into soapy water. Be sure to check the undersides of the leaves for larvae, eggs, and adults.

For effective control, all lilies and fritillaria need to be carefully inspected for eggs, larvae, and adults at least weekly, and preferably more often. I'm a lazy gardener, but I check my lilies twice a week. I also grow far fewer lilies.

Adults also feed on lily-of-the-valley and on Solomon's seal, but I've never seen much damage to these plants.

Timer: 20.64 jiffies (0.2064471244812).


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