Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lily Leaf Beetles Spotted in Northford, Ct.

Day 62
The Daily DuBrule

Today was a day of great celebration. Natureworks opened for its 29th year! If I really set my mind to thinking about it, I feel old, blessed, and so fortunate to have made it to this point currently surrounded by amazing, and I mean truly amazing people helping me run this crazy business. So it's the first day of spring, the first week of spring, and it feels a bit like the middle of May. Hot, sweaty, intense. Towards the end of the day, as I was working with some of my landscape staff training our our new computer system, one of them happened to drop the bomb: "I saw red leaf lily beetles today.". Heads snapped to attention all over the shop. Customers and staff were like...What?! So early? I am not surprised. I usually get a call around the first of April from my neighbor Carol D. up the street from Natureworks. I go tromping out to the garden and scout for these nasty red beetles on my Frittilarias. That is the first plant it eats. The stinky but dramatic bulbs that come up about the same time as the daffodils. So its time to drag out the Neem and the Spinosad and the Pyrethrum. My crews sprays these organic bug killers on the plants and sprinkles Sluggo Plus (which contains Spinosad, which just might kill some of the beetles that hide in the soil) at the base of the Liliums, Tricyrtis, Fritillarias, and Polygonatums, all plants that this dreaded bright red pest will feed on. I, on the other hand, start my intensive, focused scouting for beetles and beetle eggs on every emerging lily and Fritillaria shoot in my gardens. I am a squisher at heart. I seek out the tiny red clusters of eggs on the undersides of the leaves and squish them. If I see an actual red lily leaf beetle, I hunt it down until I find it. If it thinks it can drop to the ground and bury itself in the mulch: WRONG. Last year, it was my routine every morning and every evening to do this. It worked great and I had fabulous lilies.

If this nasty, red, dreaded menace has been a problem in your yard in the past, I urge you, don't ignore this early scouting report. Nip the problem in the bud now. Get out there and find these nasty creatures, get rid of them in March before they can begin their repeated breading cycles.

Don't let this happen to you. Lily lovers, unite!

1 comment:

  1. Conca D'or seems to have just broken the surface. While I didn't have any last year, it was my first year with Liliums.