How to deal with red lily beetle

People struggling to grow lilies due to infestations of red lily beetles have been offered tips on how to deal with the troublesome pests.

Writing in the online pages of the Times, sector commentator Jane Owen states that the insects lay their eggs in batches of about 15 on the underside of lily leaves and that they hatch after roughly a week.

She explains that after the grubs hatch – in the period between March until May – they can be found in the apex between leaf and stalk, as well as on the underside of the leaves.

People eager to catch lily beetles are also advised that the creatures have a defence mechanism which sees them drop off the plant whenever they detect a disturbance.

"So you need to slip your hand under the leaf before trying to catch a lily beetle," Ms Owen concludes.

The Royal Horticultural Society explains that the beetle can eat an entire lily plant in a matter of days.