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  Life Cycle of the Red Lily Beetle (Lilioceris lilli)  

(With suggested Controls)

1.    Over wintering adult beetles emerge in early spring from the surrounding soil to mate and lay 200 to 400 eggs on the underside of the leaves of the lily plant.

    1. Handpick the adult beetles (6-8 mm ¼ inch in length) as soon as they appear on the emerging lilies.
    2. Spray the adults with any pyrethrum based (0.5%) insecticide or any other registered pesticide. Rotenone may also be effective.
    3. Destroy the egg cases on the underside of the leaves.  Eggs are in yellow/orange clusters or in irregular rows. The eggs are quite small, approximately 1 mm.

    1.    Eggs usually hatch in about 7-10 days.

  • Photo by: Paul Mabbott

    3.    Emerging larvae will begin feeding on the underside of the leaves and then move to the top. This stage lasts for about 16-24 days. They will cover themselves with their own feces to discourage predators.

    1. Remove the larvae.  Can be very messy.  Use rubber gloves.
    2. Dust or spray with Rotenone or any pyrethrum based pesticide.
    3. Spray the larvae and the underside of the leaves with Neem Oil at 5-7 day intervals throughout the season.  Neem is ineffective on adults.

    4.    Larvae drop to the ground and pupate for about 20-25 days.  Pupae cases are dark brown or black in color and very hard to find in the soil.

    5.    Emerging adults climb plants and feed until fall but do not normally mate or lay eggs until spring.

    1. Handpick the adult beetles.
    2. Spray the adults with any pyrethrum based (0.5%) insecticide or any other registered pesticide.  Rotenone may also be effective.

    6.    New adult beetles appear to swarm together and fly to seek out new locations during August to September.

    7.    Adults over winter in the surrounding soil or under plant debris.  Some adults may survive over two seasons.  Stir up the surrounding soil or the mulch in early spring and kill any emerging beetles before they have a chance to lay their eggs.

    Note: The lily beetle has no known natural enemies in Canada. It is up to each gardener to check their lily plantings at least weekly for signs of the beetle.  Because the beetles are strong fliers and can move around the neighborhood, inform your neighbors and help them to control this pest.  The beetles have now been reported in most parts of Winnipeg as well in various provincial locations.

    Note: All information in this article has been obtained from various sources on the Internet.  Use your own discretion in controlling beetles on your property and use only the methods with which you are comfortable.  All organic or chemical pesticides should be handled as directed by the manufacturer.  There are no pesticides specifically registered for use on lily beetles in Canada.

    Neem is not registered for sale or use as a pesticide in Canada

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