The calla lily (Zantedeschia sp.) is an attractive flower native to tropical Southeast Africa. Commonly used in floral arrangements, calla lilies can easily be grown in home gardens up to USDA hardiness zone 8. Calla lilies are hardy flowers but are sometimes visited by insects that can cause direct and indirect damage to the flowers.
Insects such as aphids, thrips, mealybugs and spider mites are common insects on calla lilies and can cause considerable damage if not controlled. Correctly identifying insects on your calla lily early is important to prevent damage to the plants.
Insects can cause physical damage to calla lilies by feeding directly on the flowers and foliage, diminishing their quality. In addition, physical damage reduces the vitality of calla lilies and causes stress to the plant.
Aphids as well as some types of butterfly larvae transmit fatal viruses from one calla lily to another. According to the University of Florida, viruses such as phyllosticta leaf spot, cucumber mosaic and tomato spotted wilt cause malformed flowers and development of calla lilies. Managing insect pests on your calla lilies — through either cultural or chemical means — is the only way to prevent the spread of viruses.