Asian Lily Beetles – A New Garden Threat

Anyone genuinely interested in Nature – while perhaps naive enough to believe in its absolute innocence – might think the small, bright fiery-orange beetle that’s suddenly materialized in their gardens is strikingly beautiful and perfectly harmless. About the size of a rather narrow ladybug without spots, it almost sparkles as it seems to sun itself on the leaves and emerging flower buds of Asiatic and Oriental hybrid lilies.

In fact, the appearance of innocence and beauty is totally misleading…if not downright deceptive. Early spring sunbathing is clearly not what it has in mind! Lilioceris lilii. Asian Lily Beetle, aka Lily Leaf Beetle, is focusing its entire attention on filling its belly and finding a mate. When those two primary goals have been fulfilled, watch out! Your beautiful lilies are about to vanish. And if you have no hybrid lilies but concentrate on growing fruits and vegetables, your tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers (nightshades) are in serious jeopardy.

Where did they come from? Asian Lily Beetles first appeared in Boston a little over a dozen years ago, probably stowaways in plants imported from abroad…quite possibly China. Rapidly spreading throughout Massachusetts and points north, by 1999 they had worked their way up the New England coast to Brunswick, then inland areas…finally reaching the Mid-Coast and more than a few miles inland to the west, devastating lilies as they traveled. Now they have occupied very nearly every agricultural and horticultural area in several eastern states and three Canadian provinces and, in my opinion – and that of a great many other horticultural/entomological professionals – will soon surpass the populations and crop damage done by the dreaded Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica).

Adult Lily Leaf Beetles over-winter in the soil or in un-cleaned-up plant debris after fall frost. Following emergence during early spring, they mate and quickly deposit between 200 and 300 tiny dull-orange eggs on the undersides of leaves, in clusters of two to ten. Hatch occurs in five to ten days after which larvae feed for between 16 and 24 days, growing rapidly to about twice the size of their parents. It is at this point that they are feeding heavily. Highly vulnerable to predacious insects during this “soft” feeding stage, larvae cover themselves in their own sticky, mud-like excrement (droppings) as a highly effective defense against attack. Most gardeners describe them as looking like small dirty slugs. If you scrape the feces away, you’ll see a soft, dull-red beetle whose wing cases have as yet to harden.

At about this point, larvae either crawl or drop to the ground where they pupate in secreted cocoons. In under 25 days, a fully mature adult emerges to begin the process anew. There can be as many as three such generations in a single season. To make matters worse, it is possible for female beetles who have deposited their eggs for the current season to survive a second winter and lay another huge clutch of eggs the following year. Allow me to do the math for you: One mature female beetle x 200 x 200 x 200 = 8,000,000 at a minimum. And that’s in our short New England growing season. Alfred Hitchcock would’ve had a field day with those numbers!

What else will they attack? An all-time dietary favorite is fritillary (Fritillaria sp.), but are most often seen on Asiatic, Oriental, and “tiger” lilies (Lilium sp.), lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis), Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum multiflorum), certain vegetables, and occasionally other common garden perennials when their favorites are either not present or already consumed.

How are they controlled? Best of all is daily scouting of your garden, hand-picking or knocking adults into a jar of soapy water, or spraying with one of the products described below. There are two natural “pesticides” effective in the control of Asian Lily Beetles:

1. NEEM, a biochemical pest control substance extracted from the tropical Neem tree. It affects the insect while in its larval stage by interrupting molting, and may also serve to repel adults.

2. PYRETHRIN, a product extracted from common painted daisies (Pyrethrum sp.), may be sprayed on plants to control both adults and larval stages. I consider Pyrethrin to be the best choice.

I have also noted that RESMETHRIN – a synthetic form of Pyrethrin found in formulations for garden foggers – destroys the larval form.

All of these insecticides are commonly stocked by large, retail garden centers, and less reliably at “big-box” stores. As always, read and observe all labeling information. Wear protective gloves when handling or applying, and wash thoroughly when the job’s done. Even though they’re considered “natural”, there’s no point in taking any chances with your health or that of your loved ones.

One last thought: The true key to controlling population numbers of this new and highly destructive villain in your garden, in the words of Alistair “Mad-Eye” Moody of Harry Potter fame: CONSTANT VIGILANCE! We must be ruthless and unyielding in our search for and destruction of every Asian Lily Beetle we encounter! The future of hybrid and tiger lilies in our gardens depends on it.

Two Japanese Skin Care Secrets For Beautiful Skin

Japanese skin care has drawn a lot of interest lately. This is no doubt in response to the noticeable fact that the men and women of Asia seem to retain their youthful looks for far longer than people in other areas of the world. What is it exactly that they are using in order to look so young? What are the Japanese skincare secrets?

Hidden Skin Care Secrets Revealed

Consider this: It may not be so much what they are using on their skin that is producing such a drastic difference in their skin. It may be more of what they are eating that is preserving their bodies for such a long time. Let’s take a look at diet as a factor in maintaining youthful looking skin.

Japanese Skin Care Diet

One of the reason that diet plays such a big factor in Japanese skincare is that many of the essential oils and fatty acids that are necessary in order for the skin to stay healthy are in the foods that they eat. Being an island nation a large part of these people’s lifestyles have revolved around both fish, and sea vegetation.

Secret #1 – Omega-3

Of course everyone knows about the overwhelming health benefits that come from eating foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. We are always being told that we have to eat fish two to three times per week in order to ensure that our levels of omega-3 are where they need to be in order for us to maintain our healthy bodily functions.

Including a lot of fish in their diets probably plays a huge role in Japanese skincare, but it also plays a role throughout your other organs and tissues also. That is why it is advised that anyone who can’t eat fish take at least some sort of natural oral omega fatty acid supplement.

Secret #2 – Phytessence Wakame

What many people away from Asia don’t realize is that there is omega-3 in many forms of plants also, green leafy vegetables especially. The Japanese also eat a lot of these vegetables, along with kelp and seaweed. It is simply no wonder that these people look as young as they do with all of the fatty acids that they consume.

The same wonders of Japanese skin care are also available to you through either your diet, oral supplements, or through the use of selected skin care products that contain these ingredients. Many skin care products now contain vegetable oils that will give you high doses of both omega-3 and of antioxidants.

One such company uses a type of sea kelp in their skin care products that can only be found in the Sea of Japan, which the Japanese have for centuries touted as their number one anti aging skin care secret. For more details see author box below. It raises the level of hyaluronic acid in your skin to levels much higher level than normal for your age group.

2 Japanese Skin Care Secrets Are Now Yours

So, if you want to follow a Japanese skin care regimen be sure to find a product line that contains Phytessence Wakame as an ingredient. Also supplementing your diet with Omega-3 Fish Oil is a very wise move. Then you to will hold the secret to Asian beauty in your hands.

Choosing The Right Beauty Products To Look Like A Supermodel

Those of us who are not subscribers to beauty magazines may be lost and confused when it comes to buying beauty products. Whether looking for products designed for skin care or as makeup, there are so many choices. When we do not have time for a professional consultation, we are left on our own. Knowing how to select the right beauty products will have us looking our best without any stress.

When shopping for lipstick, do it while not wearing any makeup. A lipstick that complements natural skin makes the lips look even more fabulous when makeup is worn. Lip liner serves as a foundation for lipstick and not all liner looks good on everyone. When selecting a liner, choose a color that blends in with the lipstick. When liner is applied correctly, it helps define the lips and prevents lip color from disappearing during the day.

Eye shadow and eyeliner are favorites of some women because there are so many possible combinations. The goal often is to obtain a natural look, allowing a woman to appear as if she is not wearing any makeup. Eye color should be considered when selecting eyeliner. Liners add depth to the eyes and define the lash line, so select a color that does not detract from the natural beauty of the eye. Hair and skin color also help determine the ideal color of eye shadow and eyeliner.

People with blue eyes should look for bronze or brown eyeliner and shadow that is gray, taupe, violet, or deep blue. Those with green eyes will find brown or purple eyeliner most attractive. Eyeliner and eye shadow in purple, brown, bronze, or gold are most suitable for hazel eyes. Any color of eyeliner or eye shadow looks nice on people with brown eyes.

Proper skin care creates an attractive base for foundation makeup. Women should select facial and anti aging skin care products. Certain products are designed for oily, sensitive, and dry skin as well as Asian and African American skin. Men are not left out of the skin care routine, as there are products designed especially for them.

By choosing the right beauty products, every person can look and feel like a supermodel. For men, this means smooth, wrinkle-free skin and for women it means a “full face” that looks natural and attractive. Taking time to purchase the correct products prevents wasted time and money. Properly applying beauty products creates a magnificent result.