The wildlife in our garden has lately been getting on my nerves. It has been thoroughly documented, some might say ad nauseum, that we have an ongoing battle with hungry deer, digging badgers, infesting ants, scraping pheasants and under-mining voles. Well look who has just arrived in town, the scarlet lady (and gent). This afternoon I spotted six lily beetles on our, up to now so perfect, lilies and every one of them were busy making baby lily beetles. I am slightly ashamed at the pleasure I took in my squishing and squashing and ended their fun once and for all. Now we must be ever vigilant for the arrival of more of these red devils and its bird poo like larva that scoff whilst covering themselves with their own excrement. Only their own mother could love them.
The Scarlet Lily Beetle or Lilioceris lilii, a menace to both lilies and fritileries, has one thing in its favour, as a pest it is extremely obvious on the plant. They have a black underside and when threatened throw themselves off the plant onto their backs and are thereby very difficult to find (and squish). I had no problem catching these destroyers, I think they were preoccupied with other things. It is not a British native and first arrived from mainland Europe and Asia in the nineteenth century. Since their arrival in this country they have toughened considerably and are spreading lily havoc where ever they go. Good if you are a lily beetle, bad if you love your blooms.
It has crossed my mind the best option is to convert the garden into a wildlife park and be done with it.