Although I don’t make a habit of revisiting old posts, this one bears repeating. The red (or scarlet) lily beetle has taken over Alberta, it seems – and I know infestations have been occurring all over the world (in some places, for quite a number of years). This is my post from last year about the dastardly red beast:
Red Lily Beetle (Flowery Prose)
This gorgeous Asiatic lily isn’t from my garden, although I wish it was – I took this photograph at the Calgary Zoo a couple of summers ago.
I want to update and say that the red lily beetle is a bit more non-selective in its food choices than I had previously understood – they will attack lilies (some reports state that not all species are as vulnerable as others), fritillaria, lily of the valley, Solomon’s seal, nicotiana and even POTATOES. Yikes! There are some new chemical controls out on the market now – but it seems that diligent handpicking still may be the best answer. Neem oil and diatomaceous earth are also options, with varying results.
Have you been faced with an infestation of red lily beetles in your garden? (I sure hope not!). If you have, what seems to work best to keep them under control?