ST. PAUL — The lily leaf beetle, an invasive insect native to Europe and Asia, has been discovered in Minnesota for the first time, the state Department of Agriculture announced Monday, July 13.
A beetle sighting by a St. Paul resident was recently reported to and confirmed by the department, according to a news release. The insect could already be found in Wisconsin as well as in Washington, parts of the northeastern United States and Canada.
"This insect is a major concern for gardeners and homeowners with lilies," ag department Pest Detection Unit supervisor Angie Ambourn said in a statement. "Both lily leaf beetle adults and larvae chew irregular holes and notches in lily leaves, stems, and developing buds, but larvae cause the most damage to plants and can completely defoliate plants and destroy flowers."
The bumpy, black-colored beetle larvae can be found on the underside of leaves and "significantly damage" true lilies and fritillaries as they grow, according to the news release. Bright red-colored adult lily leaf beetles, meanwhile, are known to feed on hollyhocks, hostas, lily of the valley, potato, and Solomon’s seal.
They do not cause damage to daylilies, canna lilies or calla lilies, according to the release.
The Department of Agriculture asks that Minnesota residents who spot suspected lily leaf beetles to photograph them if possible and report them to its pest hotline at 888-545-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.