Thursday, May 30, 2013

Red Lily Beetle Interview with Dianna

Gayla Trail, of You Grow Girl, just posted this interview on her website today and I think she did a marvelous job of quelling any potential panic over the Red Lily Beetle.  Several years back, while recovering from foot surgery, I did an article on the Lily Beetle with suggestions from our customers.   B&D Lilies is isolated on the Olympic Peninsula, with no other commercial lily growers within almost 200 miles, and with our wild bird population, we generally even escape heavy infestations of Aphids, so I needed to rely on gardeners in affected areas for information.

Although our Internet is from a satellite, the electricity goes out at random times, Coyotes and Bobcats pull out our planting stakes, and there are worries about our private bridge (over Snow Creek) in winter—but being backed by timberland can be a good thing.  We do not feel the need to spray any kind of pesticide and only use a fungicide (Copper Hydroxide) that is approved by the State of Washington for Organic Food Programs during the growing season.  I do however, draw the line regarding slugs, see How to Control Slugs in your garden, because they have the tendency to be everywhere during our wet springs.

Some Eastern gardeners have reported that the Red Lily Beetle were fewer in number last summer, which could have been influenced by the changing weather patterns, but the reduction could also be due from the release of parasitic wasps in their neighborhood by researchers.

Does anyone have any news about the Lily Beetle to report for your area?  Lily Beetles are bright red and their larvae leave behind disgusting poop, so please do not confuse them with the highly beneficial, black-spotted Ladybug.

1 comment:

  1. In Newton Massachusetts, I had mild infestation of RLB;s last year which I countered by the thumb and forefinger method -- hah! vengeance is mine! After mid July there weren't many to find. They had appeared for the past two or three years.
    This year, although there are a few holes in some leaves I haven't seen a single RLB and I look for them. We did have a long winter, although not terribly cold, but I doubt that could cause a total beetle die-off.