Asparagus Beetles

asparagus beetleLatin name: Crioceris asparagi, Crioceris duodecimpunctata

Size: 1/4 inch

Color(s): Black with orange backs, black spots; larvae are green with black heads

Life Cycle: Adult beetles overwinter in or near the asparagus path. After mating in the spring, females lay dark eggs on the plant. The larvae munch on the foliage and pupate in the soil after 2 to 3 weeks. Once the adults emerge, they begin the cycle all over again.

Signs of their activity: Yellow asparagus fern foliage, stunted spears.

Typically seen on: Asparagus foliage and spears.

Controls: Monitor your plants closely, especially in the spring. Hand-pick any beetles you find, and if you see eggs on the foliage, wipe them off with your hands. Keep bed tidy, especially on the ground, to cut down on places for the adults to overwinter.

Natural predators: Parasitic wasps.

Additional information: Asparagus beetles in home gardens.

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