The Q&A Archives: Red Beetles On Lilies

Question: How do I get rid of red beetles on lilies? It is apparently a regional problem here in southeastern Massachusetts. They leave the flower but strip the stems.

Answer: Here's the beetle's life cycle - this may give you more insight on how else you might prepare for it's emergence, or even inhibit emergence: The adult beetles overwinter in the soil and emerges from soil in April as lilies begin to grow. Beetles feed on tender new growth and lay a string of red eggs on the underside of leaves. When the larvae emerge, they feed mostly on the undersides of leaves, creating notches and holes. Feeding often results in deformed blooms. Neem oil will only kill larvae if it's applied soon after the eggs hatch. Perhaps some shallow cultivation in late summer will uncover the pupating larvae and expose them to predation. I also wonder if they are affected by beneficial nematodes? It may be worth a try! Good luck!

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