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Lily bugs

how do I get rid of them without necessarily using chemicals. Have googled and one site said use sunflower oil in a spray and must crush the adults and get rid of the larvae.


  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    I haven't tried the sunflower oil spray, but manual removal and extermination of the red adults and their unpleasant larvae is effective, though you have to be vigilant. And I would recommend using gloves to deal with the larvae which cover themselves with their own excrement. The adults tend to do a backwards flip when the plant is disturbed, landing on their backs and exposing their black bellies, which makes them difficult to see. Some people suggest putting a sheet of White paper under the plant so the bugs remain visible. Don't forget to check other vulnerable plants like fritillaries.
  • thank you so much , have just checked and had to kill some more so will keep checking.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Check under the leaves, too, for their eggs (laid in batches of 20 or so).  Those are also bright red and can easily be rubbed off - much less messy than dealing with the larvae!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • thank you

    never had them before and where do they come from as the lily affected have had for years - did see that some times they come in compost but have only added bark to the area - could they have been in there then.?



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Like most beetles, they can fly and are attracted by the smell of lily plants.  They are an invasive species which are not native to the UK but are now extremely widespread here - so much so that some folk have actually given up growing lilies.  Keep a look out for them, especially when the sun is out, as it is then that they usually sit on the highest leaves and waft pheremones into the air to attract a mate.  If you want to read more about them, the RHS has a lot of info:


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • thank you Bpb will go into the RHS link - have been squashing them and killing the larvae but will obviously have to do it daily. will also get some spray to eradicate them.



  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    Keep on squishing, and try the sunflower oil trick as it appears to have worked on mine.

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