Red Lily Beetle

How to Get Rid of the Dreaded Lily Beetle

It never fails, every year as your lilies begin to sprout out of the ground those beetles are already feasting on your precious lilies. It is a problem all too common that every gardener woes. Below I will offer some tips on how to get rid of the dreaded red lily beetle and keep it out of your garden.

What is a red lily beetle?Lilioceris lilii leaf

The red lily beetle – also known as lilioceris lilii, scarlet lily beetle and lily leaf beetle [1] are hungry insects that can devour an entire lily plant in just a short time and wreak havoc in your garden.

Recognizing a Red Lily Beetle

Adults:

  • The adults are a bright red beetle, 6-8 mm long with a rectangular body shape.
  • Black head, legs and underside

(See picture to the right)

  • These beetles can easily be confused with lady bugs as they look similar the only difference is lady bugs have spots on their backs.

Larvae:

  • Appears to have yellow to orange soft bodies with black heads.
  • Small larvae hide on the underside of leaves.

ScarletLilyBeetleLarvae

Tips on how to get rid of the Red Lily Beetle

Diatomaceous earthDiatomaceous Earth

That is a great natural alternative to get rid of most hard-shelled unwanted critters such as beetles, ants, and more. Sprinkle it at the base of the plants and as the bugs trek through the powder they will die within 24 hrs as the powder suffocates them.

You can get diatomaceous earth at a whole foods store, ensure you are buying the food grade type to keep animals safe.

Pick them off

If you aren’t squeamish about bugs, you can pick them up and put them in a tall pail. You can spray them with soapy water or water mixed with olive oil to kill them.

Spray with Neem oil

Neem oil is a great way to kill the larvae and the bugs, be sure to spray the underside of the leaves.  Spray again within 5 – 7 days to ensure there are no new eggs that hatched.

You can find neem oil and diatomaceous earth at various department stores and health food stores. Specifically, Earths General Store may carry both, call to confirm.

Check for infestation

To stay diligent and to make sure your garden is free from these pests all gardens should be vigilant and inspect planted lilies and any bulbs in the soil every year and check often.

So there you have it, a natural alternative to help get rid of red lily beetles. It is important to use natural alternatives so you can protect your plants and of course the bees. Bees are a big fan of lilies and we want to ensure we are not using any harmful chemicals on our plants that would harm them.

Sherwood Nurseries treats all their plants with environmentally friendly pesticides to ensure there is no harm to the bees or the environment. Contact for details.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_lily_beetle

8 replies
  1. Donna Howard
    Donna Howard says:

    I never plant flowers i got lilies there pretty til they got infested with this yellow bug stuck allover it leaves branches everywhere

    Reply
  2. Krystine
    Krystine says:

    My mom has 3 different lily’s growing in her garden. These beetles first attacked her tiger lily’s and now have move to her chinese lily’s and I’ve found a few on her giant lily’s.

    I must note that she has NEVER in the 20 yrs of having this garden had an infestation of these beetles before. This is the first time ever.

    I have sprayed with eco friend sprays & have cleaned any leaf with eggs. When I see one I squish it. What else can I do to save her lily’s without having to dig them out all together and start over.

    Reply

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