MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The lily leaf beetle, an invasive insect that feeds on lilies and fritillaries, has been found for the first time in Minnesota.

A St. Paul resident noticed an insect on an Asiatic lily and reported it to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). After inspecting the area, MDA staff found an adult lily leaf beetle.

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“This insect is a major concern for gardeners and homeowners with lilies,” said Angie Ambourn, Supervisor of the MDA’s Pest Detection Unit. “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.”

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Credit: MDA

The beetle is native to Europe and Asia and is currently found in Canada, the northeastern U.S., Washington and Wisconsin. The larvae cause significant damage to true lilies and fritillaries.

Lily leaf beetles are very distinctive looking. The adults are bright red beetles and the eggs are reddish, laid in lines on the undersides of leaves. For more information click here.

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To report suspected beetle’s to the MDA: