Gardening: War on the red menace.
A BRIGHT red munching scarlet invader is attacking our garden plants.
And as it slowly marches north, gardeners are turning red with rage.
The problem is caused by a very attractive beetle with a brilliant red shell known as the Lily Beetle - but don't be fooled by its rather fetching appearance.
Over recent years this relative newcomer has become one of Britain's most feared garden pests and is rapidly advancing across Britain, leaving devastation in its wake.
If you grow Lilies, Fritillaries, Nomocharis or Polygonatum then they could all be under attack from this destructive red rascal. They're surprisingly easy to see and don't try to camouflage themselves, except when they're surprised and drop to the floor belly up. The underside is black and this makes them very difficult to see.
But for every beauty, there's a beast.
If you've not had your Sunday lunch yet, then skip the next bit!
It's the larvae, or young, of the red Lily Beetle that are so revolting. The reddish-yellow bodies are covered in a slimy black layer of their own excreta.
If left untreated, the Lily Beetle and its grubs are capable of stripping a plant completely bare to the stem.
The resulting leafless season has a killer knock-on effect. After two or three seasons, your bulbs will literally die out.
The only treatment is to use Bio's Provado Ultimate bug killer.
This is the only product so far seen to be really effective. In the past, bifenthrin-based products have had some control but this new chemical should prove very effective against the red menace.
ON THE ATTACK... the Lily Beetle looks impressive and is also a feared pest
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|Publication:||Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)|
|Date:||Apr 15, 2001|
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