I think Indiana is in luck. The original infestation was in eastern Canada in the late 40s. Then they showed up in Cambridge, Massachusetts right around Y2K and have been slowly spreading outward, now into all of New England but not yet the mid-Atlantic states, Pennsylvania or western New York. The University of Rhode Island has been studying a couple of parasitic wasps from Britain that hunt the lily leaf beetle and their releases of those wasps in Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts have been very successful in controlling the population. So hopefully by the time the beetle reaches the midwest, its natural predator will be just as well established and you won't have to worry about it.
Sorry, everyone, I didn't mean to turn this whole thread into the lily leaf beetle thread! What other cool insects have people seen in their gardens?
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Yes, the adult lily leaf beetle is very pretty, and when I first saw them and didn't know what they were, I thought them delightful. But after their eggs started hatching, it was just about three weeks until there were NO leaves on any of my lilies. Species lilies only - they don't touch day lilies - they're VERY picky eaters. And the larvae are disgusting - their protection from being eaten by birds is that they pile their feces on their backs. While the eggs and adults are impervious, the larvae are susceptible to the oil of the neem tree, so I handpick them (I knock the adults into a cup of leftover dishwater and they sink to the bottom and drown) in all three stages and spray neem on the patch after each rainstorm. I have them well controlled now, but they almost destroyed my entire patch that first year, and then they didn't look so pretty to me anymore.
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Hhhm, something interesting to research! One of these days I'll have to do that! Right now I'm still in the middle of a blog that is being very difficult to write due to time constraints! Hey that's a neat blog to keep though. Beneficial Insects, Harmful Insects, and Insects that don't really do anything other than look neat. LOL
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I had what looked like a dragonfly in my garden earlier this week - weird 'cause I'm nowhere near water.
And the bane of my existence is the lily leaf beetle. Didn't have them in Illinois - apparently they were introduced from Europe (without introducing any of their natural predators) and they're slowly working their way west across the U.S. Love my lilies, so I HATE the beetles, even though they're quite pretty. www.thegardenerslist.com/Resources/l il y-leaf-beetle_clip_image001.jpg
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Most insects are the bain of our existence as organic gardeners; but there are others we can appreciate.
What's the most unusual insect you have seen in your garden, and/or the one that drives you crazy?
I saw something feeding on the nectar of my petunias in the hanging basket the other day. It acted like a hummingbird but it wasn't. It looked like an elongated bumblebee, but it wasn't. I googled hummingbird moth because that's the two things it reminded me of, and that's exactly what it was - pretty cool. I was one foot away and wished that I had my camera!
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