Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Dealing with Those Nasty Lily-Leaf Beetles, and Why a Dogwood Tree Didn't Do Well

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Dealing with Those Nasty Lily-Leaf Beetles, and Why a Dogwood Tree Didn't Do Well

Article excerpt

Q. I recently planted Asiatic lilies, before I heard about a bright red beetle that destroys them overnight. What can I do now to keep these pests away? - J.W., Lincoln, Mass.

A. You probably have the lily-leaf beetle, says Bob Childs, an entomologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Mr. Childs says it is a relatively new pest to Massachusetts, arriving in 1992 on a shipment of lily bulbs from Europe. Although day lilies are not affected, the beetle "will eat the Asiatic lily to the ground," says Childs. Mature beetles lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves in late March. When the brownish larvae hatch in four to eight days, they feed on the underside of the leaf. If you have only a few plants, he recommends hand-picking the beetles off. A general-use insecticide will inhibit them, but Childs warns it should be used sparingly and should not be sprayed when lilies are in bloom. Insecticides can be toxic to honeybees. Inspect the plant closely at nurseries to avoid buying infested plants. …

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