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Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii)

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


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Dayville, Connecticut
Northford, Connecticut
Stamford, Connecticut
Thomaston, 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 (2 reports)
Himrod, New York
Irvington, New York
Rochester, New York
Syracuse, New York
Webster, New York
Tiverton, Rhode Island
Chester, Vermont
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Jul 14, 2019, eroebroek from calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

We have had this pest in Calgary for at least 5 years. I have hundreds of Lily stems. Picking them off by hand is moderately effective if you are Retired like me. Spraying with Malathion kills about twice as many as hand picking since you get those that are hidden .What is extremely effective is using a systemic insectiside . I sprayed once early when the lilies were only 4 inches high and that seemed to do it .


On Feb 2, 2019, kdrotzer from Croton-on-Hudson, NY wrote:

I had pretty much stopped growing lilies until someone told me about Johnson's baby powder (the original with talc -- not the newer version with cornstarch). Although a bit unsightly, (the stems and buds are often powdered) I have been able to grow lilies again. I use the large size container as a built in "duster". I now keep my lilies in designated areas, (not all over the garden) and start dusting them when young and always after it rains. If I am diligent, I control the beetles without them getting to the next stage.

Hope this helps.


On Aug 22, 2016, klippenshliefer from Toronto,
Canada wrote:

We have battled these red terrors in Toronto for a few years now. I used to be squeamish about killing bugs, but now each day after work, during the summer, I inspect the underside of the leaves of my true lilies and when I see the bugs, I try to get them with my fingers, but hold my other hand cupped under the operation as, half the time, they fall off. With this method, they don't land in the soil where they are harder to see. Then I put them on some hard-scaping and squish them. I also try to rub off the red eggs, but after reading some of the comments, I realize I should be more careful to ensure they are squished rather than just falling off into the soil. I can't deal with the yucky larval stage as I'm often not wearing gloves, but mostly I don't see that stage, because of my other ... read more


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

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... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Interesting... read more


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.


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.


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 more


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


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!


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


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


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.