Lily Leaf Beetle

Subject: Who is this?
Location: Brewster, NY
June 26, 2013 1:06 pm
A horde of these critters attacked my lilies, which I just discovered this morning (June 26). All the leaves were gnawed off, all the buds chewed into. I found zillions of these guys on the stems and buds. Of course they just fly off if I try to get them as I’m removing the dead plants. But they just moved next door to my stella doras, staging on the mum plants between the destroyed lilies and the stella doras.
I can’t find this in any of my bug books. Can you tell what it is? Is there anything much I could do about it? Obviously they love the lily family, but would they likely move on to other plants if these were not available?
Signature: Sister CG

Lily Leaf Beetle
Lily Leaf Beetle

Dear Sister CG,
This is a Lily Leaf Beetle, Lilioceris lilii, and it is an introduced species that has not made friends with gardeners who cultivate lilies.  You can read more about Lily Leaf Beetles on Gardener’s Supply Company.

Ah-HA! Thank you so much for this quick reply. I’m off to research possible treatments for this. We have a fully organic farm here, and the affected lilies are already goners for this year, so I’m thinking vinegar/water/soap to begin with. We’ll see.
Again, thanks so much for the help! (And no, this gardener is not in the mood to make friends with these guys either, pretty as they are.)
Catherine Grace, CHS
Bluestone Farm and Living Arts Center

We hope you are able to find an eco-friendly means of eradicating this invasive, exotic species from your farm.

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