During the past two weeks I have been tidying up my garden. It’s been quite colourful all winter with a nice display of cyclamen. But suddenly a lot of them have just wilted and keeled over. I dug a couple up and found that the corms were being eaten by a white grub.
It was the larvae of the Vine Weevil, Otiorynchus sulcatus.
These little horrors happily feed on the corms and roots and later when the adults emerge they will feast on the leaves.
I dug up the infected plants and treated the soil, problem solved for now.
A few days later I spotted a scarlet beetle on my beautiful lily.
It was the dreaded Red or Scarlet Lily Beetle, lilioceris lilii.
These beetles are bright red with a black head and legs. It was devouring the leaves of my lily. I had only grown one plant. How did it know it was there?.
I found four adult beetles and promptly disposed of them, but not before taking a few photos. I had to be careful because as a defence mechanism they first remain motionless but then fall, landing on their back with their black underside facing up making them hard to spot. They can also ‘squeak’ making a faint sound by rubbing body parts together.
I then looked closely at the rest of the plant and noticed hundreds of eggs on the underside of the leaves. Unfortunately the plant had to go!
All this gardening is hard work, so I have scattered some wild flower seeds and my lawn can become a hay meadow. I have given away my fork and spade and bought a reclining garden chair. I can now relax with a cool glass of beer and just listen to the murmuring of the bees. It is so peaceful, but what is that squeaking noise. Oh no. The Lily beetles are back.