It's 2020, if a new invasive species was going to show up and wreak havoc on our flowers this would be the year.

A never-before-seen-in-Minnesota beetle has been spotted down in Minneapolis. A lily leaf beetle, an invasive insect that feeds on lilies and fritillaries, was spotted on an Asiatic lily in the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture was contacted, and after inspection verified the invasive species.

WCCO talked with Angie Ambourne who is with the MDA 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.

Currently, the lily leaf beetle can be found in Europe and Asia where it is native, as well as Canada, the northeastern U.S., Washington, and Wisconsin where it is considered "invasive".

Keep an eye on your lilies, which are blooming full force this time of year, by looking for bright red adult beetles. Their color makes them easy to spot. Also, check the underside of the leaves of the plant for reddish lines of eggs. The MDA is asking people to report their sightings to them as well by sending photos, location, and other information by emailing the arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us.

Like a lot of people this year, I have found a lot of calm in gardening and will be keeping an eye on the multiple plants in my yard.

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