On a daily basis we receive questions from customers about the Lily Beetle. Most of the times the question is; are there any Lilies that do not suffer from the Lily Beetle?
The answer is Yes and No. There certainly are Lilies that are less desirable for this little red beetle and her larva. Lilies from the group of the so called O.T. Lilies have more vigor and are harder to digest for the Lily Beetle.
O.T. Lilies are Lilies that are bred from the Oriental Lilies and the Trumpet Lilies. These are Lilies with the elgance and flower shape of the Oriental Lilies and the vigor and strength of the old-fashioned Trumpet Lilies like African Queen and Golden Splendour.
You will find the Lily Beetle on these O.T. type Lilies but the leaves are too tough for the beetle to seriously damage it. Every now and then you will find a hole in the leaves coursed by the beetle, but they seldom are able to destroy the plant.
A common misunderstanding is that most people think that it is the nice-looking red Lily Beetle himself that eats the Lilies. This is not true; it is the larva that does most of the damage.
Sometimes that are difficult to see, specially at the beginning of an infection you can hardly find them. They are settled on the bottom side of the leaves and look like little black clots of dirt. This black clot are the droppings of the little larva that lives in the middle of this dirty lump. With a serious infection of the Lily Beetle you will see lots of these black clots.
It does sound a little bit grouse, but you should squeeze these black clots, with in the middle the larva of the Lily Beetle, to stop the damage.
Carlos van der Veek