Loathsome Lily Leaf Beetles

Although I am not yet feeling 100% and still find the computer and reading strenuous, I am attempting to get back at it with a few short posts here and there. I am off to pick the kids up from camp today and have decided to leave early so that I can visit the beautiful town of Neepawa. I have known about the Neepawa Lily Festival for several years now, as we drive through Neepawa the week before the festival when taking the kids to camp and again on the way back on the weekend of the festival. This year, I decided to leave early enough that I can spend a few hours there enroute to camp. I hope to have a great day and plan to post about my experience next week.

Loathsome Lily Leaf Beetles:

Luckily, I had done a bit of research on Neepawa and the festival events earlier in the summer, so I was already prepared for today’s stop. One of the things I learned in my research was a bit more about the dreaded Lily Leaf Beetle. Our own lilies became infested with these suckers last summer and at the time I had done some research and learned that there wasn’t much you could do about them other than pick them off and squish them. Yuck! Tim has been doing this, but we have not had much luck staying on top of them and they leave a path of destruction in their wake. Of course, as the beetles move west the future of the lilies in Neepawa is at risk with beetles now showing up as close as Gladstone. Although we have not tried any of the recommended courses of action (other than pick and kill), there are some suggestions in this article I found on the Lily Festival Site. It would be such a shame for Manitoba to be infested to such a degree that lilies are wiped out, but from the looks of our garden the outcome seems grim if something is not done to stop them.

Possible Solutions:

The previously mentioned article does offer some hope.

While the lily leaf beetle has no natural predators, there are a number of ways to control the insect.  Hand picking and squishing the bugs works well with adults.  Insecticides such as Sevin, Malathion, Safer’s End-All or Rotenone also work well.  At the larvae stage, Neem oil can be sprayed on the insects and plant every 5 to 7 days.  

Have You Tried Remedies that Work?

If you too have been infested and have found some solutions to these dreaded beasts, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. (I think we might try Rotenone which is an organic powder.)

If you are driving the Yellowhead this weekend and have a chance to check-out the festival it runs today, July 25th through to Sunday. Neepawa is approximately 2 hours west of Winnipeg.