What's the Orange Bug on My Lilies?


What's the Orange Bug on My Lilies? Transcript

Today we’re talking about gardening with Lilies. There’s a pesky little insect called the Lily Leaf Beetle that is affecting Lilies in Canada and the northeast. Early in the season, you’ll see a black slug that kind of looks like it has dirt on it. This is the larvae, which are actually carrying their excrement on their backs. Next, there’s the adult, that’s a scarlet orange; it’s about ½” long, and it also has a black head. Early in the season, you’ll see the larvae, then you’ll see the adults, and there are some options for control.

There are no known natural enemies for the Lily Leaf Beetle. They are trying several parasitic wasps and we hope that a biocontrol agent comes out soon. But in the meantime, you need to control the Lily Leaf Beetle yourself. One of the first things you can try is handpicking. It might not be practical if you have a lot of Lilies, but if you only have a few, you can pick off the adults and put them in warm, soapy water just to kill them. Also the larvae and the eggs you can hand-pick yourself.

If you have a larger planting, or you want to do something that's going to be a little more effective, you can go with two different products. The first product is Neem. Neem oil comes from a tree and is actually a botanical product, that interrupts the larvae and its life cycle so it can’t molt. So it’s a very popular product used for a lot of different insects.

Another option for control is Spinosad. It’s a bi-product of a soil-dwelling bacterium. It’s effective on both the larvae and the adults. Make sure with your Spinosad that you’re re-applying often, especially after a rain and follow the directions on the label and use any product responsibly.

For more information on the Lily Leaf Beetle, and growing lilies, go to our website.