Pests and Diseases forum: Advice: UGH Bugs Eating my Lilies -What would you do?

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Name: Vivian
Southeastern Michigan (Zone 6b)
Daylilies
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ViviansTreasures
Jun 30, 2013 11:31 AM CST
Has anyone had bugs eating their blooms! Angry :grumbling:
For years I have had bug free plants and this year the bugs are making up for lost time. Confused Any advice to share ?
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So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jun 30, 2013 12:12 PM CST

Moderator

Hi Vivian!

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

'So sorry to see your damaged blooms. I agree with you - arghh!

Do you use chemicals - pesticides, insecticides, etc. - or are you an organic gardener?
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Vivian
Southeastern Michigan (Zone 6b)
Daylilies
Image
ViviansTreasures
Jun 30, 2013 12:22 PM CST
Thank YOU for the kind Welcome! Lovey dubby

These are my first blooms of the year too! At this point I would use anything to get rid of them! I would like to lean toward the organic, but if it is out of hand now .... I afraid when my other lilies start blooming they are going to go NUTS on them. I will do what EVER it takes. I am pleased to say I have not used anything for years, but my time has come. I am afraid the bugs have passed the word. Crying
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jun 30, 2013 12:32 PM CST

Moderator

It looks like it may be the larva of the red lily beetle. The larva kind of resemble 1/4 to 1/3 inch slugs and they cover themselves in their own excrement to deflect predators. You probably did not have them in your garden before as they are fairly recent to the US (arrived in Massachusetts in 1992 and have been slowly moving outward from there). Unfortunately, they are extremely destructive and attack primarily lilies and Fritillaria. Here is a link with more information including treatment:

http://extension.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/lily-leaf-b...

Again Welcome! to ATP.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
[Last edited by OldGardener - Jun 30, 2013 12:46 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #441730 (4)
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jun 30, 2013 12:41 PM CST

Moderator

I apologize - we must have cross-posted. I saw that Neem was effective but needs to be re-applied every 5-7 days but the site above lists several other pesticides and bio-controls that you may want to look into. You may want to take a 2-step approach - immediately eradicating the larva this year followed by preventative and bio-controls next year as this pest is extremely destructive.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
[Last edited by OldGardener - Jun 30, 2013 12:43 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #441733 (5)
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jun 30, 2013 12:50 PM CST

Moderator

Other plants that may attract the lily beetle are Convallaria, Polygonatum, Solanum, Alcea and Hostas but these are not usually attacked with as much vigor as Liliums.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Vivian
Southeastern Michigan (Zone 6b)
Daylilies
Image
ViviansTreasures
Jun 30, 2013 12:52 PM CST
Thanks so much for the link. Thumbs up
I been on the net all day today trying to find the best way to go about this. Shrug!
I will keep you posted! Also will try to get a better photo with my camera instead of my phone camera too.
I want to make sure I post it, because I might be able to spare someone the pain of this. My Lilies have been my adopted kids.
The Garden Buddie, who gave them to me said they were his kids and he let them go for me to love and share!
I have got to keep his memory going!
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jun 30, 2013 1:02 PM CST

Moderator

Please do keep us updated. Your lilies look like they were going to be absolutely gorgeous before this happened! I really appreciate the posting for the same reason - the more people who are aware of this particular little nasty, the more who won't be heartbroken. I am just so sorry that this happened to your lilies.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Vivian
Southeastern Michigan (Zone 6b)
Daylilies
Image
ViviansTreasures
Jun 30, 2013 1:19 PM CST
Going out right now to personally hunt and destroy the buggers! Catch you later! Thanks again! Crying Angry
Name: Vivian
Southeastern Michigan (Zone 6b)
Daylilies
Image
ViviansTreasures
Jun 30, 2013 3:35 PM CST
I went out and looked over all my plants, to search and destroy. It seems there are these very tiny black dots on the infected plants and ants. Yes they look like ants. Do ants follow any bugs or do they do the damage ? Then there was these very very tiny flying things crawling around. I put Murphy's Oil soap & water on them and it seem to wash everybody off but the ants. I looked at the base and under the plants and on my Hostas too. Nothing like a red anything on them yet Thank God! Do I need to go out at night? Plus my Clematis flowers are eaten too.
Icky ...now I feel like they are crawling on ME!!!!!!!!!
But these things are only eating the blooms not the plants....the plants look pretty good still.

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So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jun 30, 2013 3:58 PM CST

Moderator

Ants are usually a symptom of a problem, not the cause. They form a symbiotic relationship with many types of insects (aphids and some scales to name two) by "protecting" or "farming" them . In return for caring for these pests, ants harvest the sticky secretions, or honeydew, from them.

I noticed on one of the photos what looks like a sticky substance? My feeling is that the ants are just being opportunistic and, once the other pests are eradicated, the ants will move on (no one to herd and milk, if you will). I cannot see the tiny black insects but they may very well be black aphids.

The red lily beetle is only red when it is an adult (it kind of looks like a ladybug). Prior to adulthood, it goes through a nymph stage (baby stage) where it looks like a tiny "slug-shaped" critter covered in its own fecal matter. I am pretty sure that is what is in your first photos. You won't see a red beetle for another few weeks until this batch of babies transform themselves but, hopefully, you will be rid of them by then and not have to worry.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jun 30, 2013 4:02 PM CST

Moderator

ViviansTreasures said:now I feel like they are crawling on ME!!!!!!!!!


Ooooh - I cannot stand when this happens. I know that feeling all to well Crying .

I just picked up on your question about going out at night (sorry for missing it before). I don't see any reason to do so - I think you have a pretty good handle on what is going on in the garden.

I hope this has helped. And please, keep us updated.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Vivian
Southeastern Michigan (Zone 6b)
Daylilies
Image
ViviansTreasures
Jun 30, 2013 4:47 PM CST
Sure will keep you posted Smiling Thanks ever sooooo much again! Your comments and info has been very helpful to me. At first you feel so lost and alone. But with someone out there going through it or been there is a great help. If can pin point the thing then maybe I can get rid of it. The ants might be a clue. You are the best !!!
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jun 30, 2013 5:11 PM CST

Moderator

I hope that it has helped. I think you'll find that there is a great group of people here always willing to pitch in. Again, Welcome! to ATP, I am so glad you found us Thumbs up
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Vivian
Southeastern Michigan (Zone 6b)
Daylilies
Image
ViviansTreasures
Jul 3, 2013 12:45 PM CST
Hope everyone has a safe and blessed 4th of July!
Update:
My Plants still look the same.
I have been giving the plants a bath of Murphy's Oil Soap between rain storms. Have not been able to catch a good photo of the bug yet. Still working on that. That has not stopped me in starting the battle. This is WAR I did find Meem Oil and it is going on tonight. Hope that dose the trick Smiling Check with you later.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jul 3, 2013 1:14 PM CST
Only just spotted this thread. Good luck with your battle, Vivian! And welcome to ATP! Welcome! I have lilies, too, so this is all good information to have!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
Jul 4, 2013 8:23 PM CST
Old gardener, does the red lily beetle attack daylilies? I believe Vivian's photos are daylilies not true lilies. Since daylilies (hemerocallis) are monocots, related to corn, and are not bulbs... I didn't think they were affected?

So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jul 4, 2013 10:38 PM CST

Moderator

You are absolutely right - the red lily beetle feeds on true lilies, not daylilies. I was so focused on the damaged petals in the photos and read lilies and it stuck with me - I should have examined the foliage in the background (it does appear to be a daylily to me, also).

The only common daylily pests that I am aware of are aphids, thrips, slugs and spider mites. The description of tiny, flying things in post #10 makes me think of thrips but the damage ??? Also, I see what may be honeydew on a leaf in the last photo which makes me think of aphids but I don't see any aphids in the photos. What is your feeling?
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Jul 4, 2013 11:13 PM CST
I really don't know. I would like to see a photo of a bud the evening before it opens, to see if any damage shows on the edges. Also, it looks like the photos might be taken later in the day. Might be helpful to see an early morning photo.

I am in Ohio, but we had a lot of late frosts here, and I am seeing some weird bud development on the early buds. I am wondering if it could be related somehow to weather, and the insects are a coincidence.

If the problem goes away as the later blooming daylilies start to flower, that could be a clue.

Deer are another thought, but I would think it would be bigger bites, worse damage? The really ragged petal edges have me puzzled ...

Vivian, you might post your photos to the Daylily Forum and get some other opinions before you start treating them. There is a link in my sig line to the forum.

So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jul 4, 2013 11:36 PM CST

Moderator

Usually when I have heard about deer damage, I hear about entire scapes being destroyed but as we don't have deer in the area that I live in, I have not seen the damage personally.

I actually have had slugs do similar damage to blooms (the real ragged edges) on a couple of occasions but it has always been accompanied with leaf damage and slime trails which I am not seeing here - also, the buds were usually attacked prior to opening and the slugs were out in large numbers.

It would be interesting to see what the folks over on the Daylily Forum think.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln

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