Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Crappy Side of Gardening

Aren't these little critters bright and cheerful looking? Such a vibrant color, especially when seen against the lovely green of your lilies. They kind of look like a relative of the cute little Ladybug.
But do not be deceived! These are monsters!!! When you think of these small, seemingly innocuous little insects, think "THE DEVIL"!!! (Note that they're red and have horns! ) I discovered them on my lilies last week and noticed that the leaves were rather moth-eaten. So, I turned to Google and found out how to deal with them.
It's the Red Lily Beetle. They live in the soil and overwinter there (plotting evil plans & laughing behind their barbarous little pincers!). In spring they lay eggs under the leaves; the eggs hatch into larvae which, of course, eat the leaves and can apparently destroy the whole plant & even your whole garden! But that's not the worse part of these little interlopers.

The larvae - which are fat, disgusting little orange blobs - are often not noticed because as they eat (and grow fatter) underneath the leaves, they disguise their bodies with their own excretment! Yes! They happily munch your plants, safe from birds and other preditors, wrapped in their very own black "Cloak of Crap"!
But these little poopy pests didn't bargain on one steely preditor --- their newest and most terrifying threat --- Doris the Great!
Armed with her Google knowledge, a large pan of hot soapy water, an old but clean rag, a determination which overcame her revulsion and previous experience in washing poop off beloved objects (namely, 3 little baby bums); Doris boldly and bravely strode forth into battle in order to save her beloved lilies.
And Doris continues the fight! She has taken up the gauntlet of daily checks for yucky black blobs (no more so far!!) and gently shaking her lilies (sounds naughty, doesn't it) over her hand in order to catch those pretty red bugs (2 squished underfoot yesterday!)
There are lots of healthy looking buds on my plants even if the leaves look hard-done-by! And they will bloom! I am determined to be victorious!
This scourge shall be overcome with tenacity and hardwork

perhaps the purchase of some silicone gloves!!!

Ew!! GROSS!! Is beetle poop good for your hands??


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You are just so funny tackling those beetles. I've not seen any on my lilies here, but if I do I now know what to do. Thank You! Gardening is sometimes a battle but the rewards are great!

Vonlipi said...

That was hilarious!

I have the same thing at home. Be prepared to relive that year after year, because you can't really get rid of them.

I've been battling them for at least 10 years now. Instead of removing the poopy larvae, I remove the leave (where they are hiding ) and squish it.

Enjoy your lilies! :)

Garden of Egan said...

They kinda are pretty, but then I suppose the devil might be handsome.
Could you squirt Dawn soap on them?

Suburban Princess said...

Keep a spray bottle with soapy water in it so you can spray them every day :O)

Linda said...

I am cracking up! Yea for you to get rid of the poopy babies and devil bugs!

Marie said...

Ever vigilant against poopy bottoms and red devils! I need to read more about garden pests. Then maybe I can figure out who is munching away on my cabbages!

Darla said...

Gotta take the good the bad and the ugly with gardening!

reasonably chubby said...

Go Doris Go! Ewwww--really, it is so gross. I hate bugs, much less bugs covered in their own doo-doo. I'm so glad we have super-heros like yourself to save the plants. :) I believe in you! Don't give up, and keep me posted on how my lilies are doing.

Wanda said...

I don't have Red Lily Beetles to deal with, Sandy...just deer that like to eat lily buds! So I have to spray them with Liquid Fence, a very foul smelling concoction, but it works. The odor doesn't linger and offend our senses though, just the deer's!
Hope your lilies bloom well! Thanks for complementing mine!

Very funny post!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Well...thank goodness I haven't seen those little buggers on my lilies but have noticed the tips eaten off which are caused by the beautiful but bad deer around here. I do check my 'maters for those monstrous green things that will eat them overnite...yuk!

KobysCache said...

I've seen these on MY lilies! I had no clue they were devils. Out I go later today with soapy water in hand to do battle...

aliceinparis said...

I have those too. I flick them into a Becel container of water I hold underneath. They sure can decimate a plant!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Oh, those *are* horrible. Glad you got rid of them.~~Dee