Oh horror!!! I had been reading about these things for awhile, happy to realize they are in the eastern part of Massachusetts (Cambridge) but not here in the Berkshires. I read with horrible interest that they carry their fecal matter on their backs and look like black slug-type disgusting things and that they are so hard to control that lilies are no longer sold in Cambridge.
Then, last summer, I overheard a woman at Wards wondering what this disgusting slug-like thing was that was eating her lilies. My ears perked up. She said she lived in Pittsfield…
And now, for the first time, I saw three in my garden. It was like a movie; I saw them from yards away and raced over in horror and shock. They’re here!!!
They are as disgusting as I had read. I picked them off, fecal matter and all. I saw a scarlet flying beetle (their mom) and grabbed her. I have 100% Neem oil on the way. I am horrified.
Also, lots of my lilies look funky this year, Bobster. But I was thinking it had to do with that late season hard frost. It did nip the newly emerged tips of the lilies. Do the lily beetles get into the bulb? I hadn’t read that.
The horror of it all…
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.