Just minutes ago, I went out in the yard and was doing what my father-in-law used to call “a tour of the grounds”, checking out the progress in the gardens.
We have one garden that I usually call “The Lily Garden” because we have positively loaded it up with Asiatic lilies. The plants in the Lily Garden are quite mature and yield dozens of robust blooms in a gorgeous variety of colours.
So, you can imagine my horror when I saw THIS:
Lilioceris lilii = Evil
AAAK!! Lily beetles! Lilioceris lilii!!! AAAAAK!!! My poor, poor lilies!!! LOOK, up there, just LOOK! They’re EATING MY LILIES!!!
Now, you may be thinking, “Geez, take a pill, Geek, they’re just little beetles, and that’s really only a teensy nibble. Plus they’re pretty. What’s the big deal?”
The problem, my friends, is that I know too much about this evil invasive alien beast to be even REMOTELY comfortable with it being in my Lily Garden. You see, according to at least one dood on the interwebz, I’m some kind of expert on it. I’ve written a few things and given a few talks and have instilled fear in the very cockles of lily-lovers’ hearts right across the country (Did you know there are entire Lily Societies? I didn’t until they started calling me to come talk at their meetings. The sight of me now dredges up horrible memories and makes them weep and gnash their teeth in despair.)
The lily beetle is a truly awful, persistent pest that will chew the crap out of a lily garden in a matter of weeks or days if the infestation is not controlled tout suite.
Until today, I’ve felt quite safe from them here in my little rural corner of the world. I’ve watched our lily plants for years and have seen no signs. And then tonight, I quickly spotted about 20 individuals, all in pairs. It’s early still. They’re mating (quite, um, friskily, apparently) which means I might have a few days’ leeway before the egg clusters start showing up in earnest.
The only solution to this situation is to seek, and destroy. I shall keep a few for my collection (for some reason, I didn’t keep any after staring at them every day for 2 years), and then I shall squish the rest. And then I will have to inspect the underside of each frickin’ leaf and make sure none of the orange eggs are lurking there. And THEN I’ll have to watch for the chunky, poop-toting larvae (oh, yes, these are just LOVELY creatures) and squish THOSE.
So yes, I know what to do. Yet, I have a dilemma. That pic up there was snapped with an awful flash just as the sun set…and, dangit, these little guys are awfully photogenic. I should be out there squishing NOW…but I want some good pictures. The weather forecast is “cloud and rain” until Saturday. Do I dare wait that long? Sigh. I might be asking for trouble.
Stupid #$!%* beetles.