Posted by: sweetpea | June 6, 2008

Asparagus Beetles

Asparagus beetle (Adult)

Asparagus season will be drawing to a close shortly, in fact I have already stopped harvesting as mine are only in their third year so didn’t want to overharvest.  Now is the time to start keeping a vigilant eye on the leafy shoots for signs of Asparagus beetle.  These little colourful beetles will quickly defoliate your plants sapping their strength and consequently you will end up with a poorer harvest next year.  I usually just squash the little things, which seems a shame as they are quite beautiful, but saddly it has to be done.  You do have to watch though as they have a tendency to just drop off the plants to escape.

As well as the beetles, you also need to keep an eye out for their eggs and larvae.  The eggs are dark brown and oblong, and are stuck on to the leaves and stems singly at one end.  They are fairly easy to spot as they stick out, and I simply rub them off or remove the leaves.  They larvae I have yet to come across so can’t give you much of a description other than the photo below.  They feed for about 2 weeks before they fall to the ground to pupate.

Asparagus beetle (Larvae)

Apparently pot marigolds can be planted to deter the beetles as it’s strong scent will mask that of the asparagus, i have yet to try this so have no idea whether it is effective or not.  I guess any other strong smelling herbs would also do the trick.



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