Scarlet Lily Beetle

July 10, 2008

Scarlet Lily Beetle

Scarlet Lily Beetle

It is an unfortunate twist that many pest are quite attractive and were they not pests they would be welcome and colourful additions to the life of the garden. The lily beetle is such a pest. It is bright red with a contrasting black head and if it were harmless would be a star performer in a line up of garden insects.



Scarlet Lily beetle larva Unfortunately the same cannot be said for its larval stage because though its grubs are an orange red they cover themselves with their own wet, black excrement.

The adults are 6-7mm long and the grubs 8-9mm long. Both do great damage to plants by eating flowers, leaves and seed pods.

Lily  Fritillaria Their main food sources are lilies and fritillaries and the adults will be seen from early spring onwards with the grubs appearing from midsummer.
To control the grubs you can pick them off and squash them. They are active over a long period which makes even chemical control a chore and not one hundred percent reliable.

Many garden chemicals have been withdrawn over the last few years and more are due to go, so for current suitable chemicals consult your garden centre.

Photography Neil Bromhall. Information taken from Complete Gardens CD-ROM.

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