how to identify and eliminate this pest?

Fairly familiar to gardeners, the lily pad beetle is a bright red insect that, as its name suggests, primarily attacks lilies. It wreaks havoc in the garden from the start of spring. Here are some tips for spotting and eliminating the lily pad beetle.

Characteristics of the lily beetle

With rather bright colours, this beetle emerges from its long hibernation in March. It is therefore during this period that he attacks the plants that have already developed well. The female leaf beetle lays her eggs on the leaves. The 200 to 300 eggs laid will hatch about ten days later.

The round, orange-pink larvae begin to devour the plant up to the flower bud. After spending fifteen days on the plants, they fall to the ground and quickly turn into adult leaf beetles after the phenomenon of pupation. The cycle continues until the arrival of winter when the adults hibernate.

leaf beetle
Credit: DE1967 / iStock

spot beetles

This insect occurs in several places in the garden. In the vegetable garden, another type of leaf beetle attacks asparagus. The latter is yellow in color with black spots. To prevent overgrowth, the top parts of the asparagus must be removed.

In the ornamental garden it will mainly be the lily pad beetle that attacks the lilies and the lily of the valley. It is possible that it completely destroys the flower and the rest of the plant. In front of the lily you see the insect piercing all the leaves. You can usually see the damage between April and September.

How to get rid of it?

The leaf beetle is easy to spot in the vegetable garden or flower bed thanks to its bright colours. The sooner you see it, the sooner you can fix it and limit the damage. Watch out though, because if it feels threatened, the leaf beetle will fall on its back to the ground to camouflage itself with the earth.

If the larvae are visible, crush them or use a sponge to remove them. Prepare a preparation based on rapeseed oil. You need 1 liter of rainwater to which you add 20 ml rapeseed oil and 12 ml black soap. Mix the preparation well and spray it on the leaves in the evening. This action can be performed every two weeks.