If you are planting new bulbs, the lily bulbs you receive from us have been dipped in insecticide that will protect them from the Lily Leaf beetle for the first year.
The beetle is 1/4″ – 3/8″ long, with a bright scarlet body and black legs, head, antennae and undersurface. Adults lay their eggs on the underside of leaves. The reddish/orange eggs hatch in approximately 7-10 days. The larvae resemble slugs. They can be orange, brown, yellowish or greenish with black heads and they winter-over in the soil. Look for them in early spring.
If you have a small number of plants, the beetles can be handpicked. (Wear gloves. Larvae carry excrement on their backs.)
The best insecticides to use are products containing Neem. It can be purchased at garden centers under the trade name Bio-neem. Do not transplant lilies away from any area that has these beetles. A chemical called Merit is also effective against the beetle. One
application of Merit (found in Advanced Lawn Care by Bayer) in the spring as the bulbs begin to emerge will give long lasting protection against the Lily Leaf Beetle. This product is only effective if applied in the early stages of the bulb growth (soon after it emerges).
Researchers have released parasitic wasps in Boston and in Cumberland, RI in the hope that they will control these beetles. More will be released in the future if need be. Find out more on the Internet at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lilium.