Using a soft-bristled brush to knock eggs and larvae off of the plant is generally a good idea, provided that you are careful not to damage the plant. Asparagus beetles undergo a physiological process to prepare their bodies to withstand freezing temperatures during winter. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. We found beetles overwintering in many places, including decomposing asparagus stalks, under leaf litter and underneath tree bark (Figure 2). There may be two to five generations of this pest each year. The most common of asparagus pests, asparagus beetles weaken plants when fed upon by adults and larvae. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. What I’ve found that works when hand-picking them is to have a container of soapy warm water on hand. Photos from: Bugwood.org Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series Injury Both the larvae and the adults damage the asparagus plants. Hi, I'm Kevin. Most gardeners try to keep everything other than asparagus out of their asparagus beds, including any and all weeds, companion plants, etcetera. Spotted beetle is bright reddish-orange with small black dots. It also has the added bonus of being human and pet safe, and it’s safe for most beneficial insects as well. Michigan State University Extension will explain what we know, and donât know, about scouting and managing Japanese beetles in asparagus.. Japanese beetles have one generation per year and overwinter as a C-shaped grub in â¦ Eggs of the asparagus beetle are most commonly found on the spear. Crioceris duodecimpunctata (Spotted Asparagus Beetle) I have been noticing these strange varmints on the Asparagus. But there is a down side to growing this phenomenal edible… the asparagus beetle. This tiny wasp, Tetrastichus asparagi, will lay its eggs in asparagus beetle larvae. While it’s generally recommended that you use these options in limited amounts, especially on young asparagus stalks, use of a few spray insecticides can help you kill asparagus beetles and their larvae. The feeding of spotted asparagus beetle larvae on berries does not affect the health of asparagus plants over the long run. There are two types that are commonly found in the US. Draâ¦ Home » Asparagus Beetles: All You Need To Know About The Crioceris Species. It can occasionally lay eggs on the flowers of these plants, and on occasion the larvae will snack on newly-forming melons or squash. Asparagus is a great crop to grow. Please remember that some insecticides are harmful to bees. Feeding disfigures spears, rendering them unmarketable. The common asparagus beetle larvae have light gray to cream colored bodies and black heads and legs (Figure 3-A). Lady beetle adults have oval to rounded, dome-shaped bodies with a varying number of spots. The eggs of the common asparagus beetles are dark brown and cylindrical shaped (Figure 3-B). The spotted asparagus beetleâs body is similar to that of a ladybugâs, but it has a large, red head. They start by having a snack to replenish themselves, feasting lightly on the tips of the new shoots. Spotted asparagus beetle larvae are orange. Asparagus beetlesâCrioceris spp. Their initial appearance is later For asparagus, it’s best to spot-treat with these when you discover adult or larval asparagus beetles, rather than doing widespread spraying when it’s not necessary. If the adult beetle can’t eat the fresh asparagus tips, it won’t stick around. Spotted asparagus beetle larvae are typically darker in color than the common asparagus beetle larvae. Once satiated, adult asparagus beetles will begin laying brown, pill-shaped or oval eggs in neat rows. Temperatures can only get so low before beetles begin to die so beetles seek out shelter so they are protected as much as possible from freezing temperatures. We are continuing our research into asparagus beetle overwintering to learn more this upcoming winter. October 12, 2020. In order to answer this question, it’s important to understand what these beetles are doing in the fall and throughout the upcoming winter. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. What time isn’t spent around asparagus is generally spent trying to locate a new asparagus plant to dwell on. We're always looking to improve our articles to help you become an even better gardener. As the season progresses, larvae feed on asparagus foliage. Aside from the color of the spears, they will also appear to be visually weak, as if lacking life. Common asparagus beetle larvae. Figure 1. The tips of the spears themselves may also turn brown. If you can catch the overwintering adults quickly after they make their way out of the surrounding soil and hand-pick them off the plants, you can prevent egg laying. But if you do want to try companion plants, look at light-feeding herbs. Asparagus beetle larvae â These larvae are soft-bodied, plump, humpbacked, wrinkled, and sluggish. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will be consumed by the young wasps. There is also another species of asparagus beetle known as the spotted asparagus beetle. Good Products To Eliminate Asparagus Beetles (in order): While technically there are four known types of Crioceris, only two have been recorded in modern times. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Anywhere that one has been feeding will turn brownish in color. Crioceris duodecimpunctata, ‘Spotted Asparagus Beetle’. The most distinctive markings are three large cream-colored, squarish spots with red margins along each wing cover. Vegetable Entomology Lab at Michigan State University. But just how many beetles are sheltering in these different places? The larvae emerge within a week and begin to move upward as the plant grows, feeding as they go. It should be relatively easy to see these eggs as they visibly jut out from the fern or spear, creating an almost spiky-looking line along it. Parsley is a great choice in an asparagus bed, especially if you get it started early enough that it surrounds the young spears as they emerge. The spotted beetles are less troublesome as they come out a bit later and feed on the berries rather than the ferns and spears. Ladybugs and lacewings will happily eat the asparagus beetle eggs and stop larvae from being born. Q: Are there companion plants that repel asparagus beetles? Common Asparagus Beetle: Crioceris asparagi (L.) Common asparagus beetle: adult. Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. Asparagus is its only food plant. Both the adult and larval stages of asparagus beetle eat the foliage of asparagus, they can also gnaw bark from stems, causing growth above the point of damage to dry up. The spotted asparagus beetle is orange with black spots. Summer fern feeding can cause defoliation and â¦ They drop from the plant down into the soil, dig under the surface, and form a cocoon there. You can also add a floating row cover after all overwintering beetles are likely to have come out of the soil, provided that you are very sure there aren’t eggs, larvae, or adult asparagus beetles on your plants. While it’s not commercially available, there is a beneficial parasitic wasp that is naturally attracted to asparagus in the wild. Asparagus beetle larvae on fern. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While you're here, why not follow us on Facebook and YouTube? Jennifer Zavalnitskaya and Zsofia Szendrei, Michigan State University Department of Entomology - Adults of both types overwinter in plant debris and garden trash. These larvae will feed on the ferns of the asparagus plants for approximately two weeks before dropping to the soil to pupate. Organic methods of asparagus beetle â¦ Crioceris asparagi, ‘Common Asparagus Beetle’. The common asparagus beetle larvae migrate to the ferns and begin to feast upon the plants, and neither the ferns nor the shoots will be safe. Asparagus beetle adults feed on young shoots during the harvest season, chew holes in the shoots, and lay small, dark brown eggs standing on end on the spears. It has an elongated head with feathery-looking antennae. A little more about me. Spotted asparagus beetles should not be confused with beneficial lady beetles. Managing Outbreaks: There are two generations of asparagus beetle between May and September. Using a product such as neem oil can also prove to be beneficial. Tell me in the comments! This particular beetle eats both wild plants found in nature and garden plants. Larvae. Learn more about where asparagus beetles go during winter and management implications. The spotted asparagus beetle’s larvae prefer the berries that are formed by the flowering plants to the foliage itself. A: One of the worst things about asparagus beetles is that they do fly. The bullet-shaped eggs are laid in rows perpendicular to the stem or fern. How to Get Rid of Asparagus Beetles In most situations, organic treatment for asparagus beetles is recommended, unless populations are enormous or asparagus â¦ After a couple weeks of intense feeding, they fall to the grouâ¦ To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. Symptoms and Effects: Adults of the common asparagus beetle feed on asparagus spears and ferns. Asparagus beetle Eggs for the asparagus beetle are oval shaped, dark brown, about 1.5 mm long. Two to five life cycles can happen in a year’s time, depending on the weather conditions where the plants are. Access to the right shelter could increase their survival into spring. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Asparagus beetle larvae are dark, green-gray grubs about 1/3 inch (9 mm) long when fully grown. Where exactly are these beetles coming from? Adults lay shiny black eggs on the spears; the eggs hatch about a week later. However, it really prefers the berries of the asparagus fern, and so it’s most likely to be found there where all of its nutrition needs are fully met. The ¼ inch long adults emerge from overwintering sites in and around the garden in early spring and feed on emerging spears. The asparagus beetle, Crioceris asparagi, and the spotted asparagus beetle, C. duodecimpunctata, may both be found in gardens.In California C. asparagi is more likely to be found. Within a week of its appearance, the common beetles begin laying brown eggs in rows of three to eight on the new spears. Show your Spartan pride and give the gift of delicious MSU Dairy Store cheese this holiday season! beetles. Q: I am having problems catching adult beetles. The beetle is 6.0 mm to 9.5 mm long and slightly elongated. Petunias also act as a deterrent plant for asparagus beetles, but again, it’s better to plant nearby rather than directly in the middle of the asparagus patch. Asparagus Beetle. They secrete a black fluid which stains the plant. Bright red, cream and dark blue coloured beetles, oval shaped and about 1cm long. They also protect against other pupating insects such as potato bugs, fungus gnats, and cutworms. You might not be alarmed when you see the first couple asparagus beetles, but if they’re not dealt with quickly, you will have a perennial problem right along with your perennial vegetables. A recent Google search for âwhere to buy lacewings and ladybugsâ produced 264,000 results. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. These microscopic soil organisms will help you by killing the larvae in their pupa beneath the surface of the soil or in leaf litter. However, be sure to check your plants as you harvest to ensure there are no eggs on the plant or on the stalks you’re cutting. Read on, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about asparagus beetles and how to get rid of them. common asparagus beetle is the more widespread of the two species. Beetles and larvae also feed on asparagus fronds later in the season. They will be feeding or laying eggs on asparagus spears and fronds. These will be either on the spears themselves (for the common asparagus beetle), or on the ferns or flowers (frequented by both types). A quick harvest of spears as soon as they’ve reached a reasonable length is the best way to discourage asparagus beetles, as it cuts short their life cycle. This information is for educational purposes only. The larvae of the asparagus beetle are dark gray with a black head. In addition, the larvae of the spotted asparagus beetle will feed inside developing berries and consume foliage. Based on data from winter 2019-2020, we found that some beetles overwinter in woodlots and weed margins around asparagus fields, which lines up with grower observations. Watch your plants closely in late April and early May as the new stalks start to appear. Asparagus beetles can overwinter in dead asparagus foliage. Asparagus beetle overwintering cages Research in the Vegetable Entomology Lab focuses on the ecology and management of arthropods that occur in vegetable production. The larvae feed on the tips of asparagus shoots, damaging young plants. Common asparagus beetle: larva. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. The eggs of the asparagus beetle are small, brown ovals and will usually be present in abundance. Life Cycle/Habits. How well do beetles survive in these different habitats? On some well-managed farms, growers are having issues with asparagus beetle eggs on spears (Figure 1). I created Epic Gardening to help teach 10,000,000 people how to grow anything, no matter where they live in the world. Larvae of both asparagus beetles are slug-like, and cream-colored or grey with dark heads. The common asparagus beetle is mostly blue-black, but has cream-colored or pale yellow spots along its back, and an orangish or reddish border to its wings. Your local gardening center or nursery may not sell lacewings and ladybugs. They range in colour from light-yellow to dark-brown, depending on the age of the egg. It is metallic blue-black in color with cream or yellow spots on its red-bordered elytra.The larvae are fat gray grubs with dark heads. As a general rule, the asparagus beetle spends the majority of its life in, on, under, or beside asparagus plants. The larvae of asparagus beetles excrete a black or brown liquid. Symptoms The adult beetles are 6-8mm long (about 1/4in), they are black with six yellow blotches on their wing cases and a reddish thorax Michigan’s asparagus industry has decades of experience managing the common asparagus beetle, but more recently this pest has been causing surprisingly difficult problems. These are the same beetles that will emerge from overwintering when spring comes. The other type is the spotted asparagus beetle. So what can you do to battle the beetle? This perennial produces delicious spears every year in the spring. So now that you know what you’re looking for and what it’s likely to be attacking, how do you eliminate these annoying little beetles from your perennial beds? We found that asparagus beetles that overwinter in deciduous leaves or old asparagus stalks survive at higher rates compared to pine needles and bark. Another beetle associated with asparagus is the spotted asparagus beetle. Stay tuned to learn more about the research happening in the MSU Vegetable Entomology Lab and Michigan State University Extension! If your asparagus patch is bird-friendly, they will help you with asparagus beetle control. The asparagus beetle likes to overwinter in leaf litter or other debris near its food, sometimes even inside the hollow stems of older asparagus plants. There are multiple generations each year and populations can reach high levels leading to severe loss of spears and foliage. Also, pyrethrin sprays are a common way of enacting asparagus beetles control. Identification: Common asparagus beetle is blue-black, shiny, smooth and 6-9 mm (â inch) long. As spring comes and the first signs of new asparagus shoot growth occurs, the adult beetle will also emerge from its winter hiding space. Crioceris duodecimpunctata (Spotted Asparagus Beetle) larvae. The spotted asparagus beetle is often mistaken as a weird ladybug, but this is no beneficial insect. After excessive feeding, the plant may appear to be shriveled and stunted. If this is the case, you can find what you need on Google or Amazon. Use beneficial insects to help keep the egg population down. The first type is the common asparagus beetle, which is believed to have European origins. The common asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi) is the most prevalent asparagus pest that damages young asparagus spears.Overwintering as an adult, this slender, elongated beetle bears four white or yellowish spots on its wings, is reddish underneath and on the wing edges, and has a dark-red thorax. Help! To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). It takes about a week for the larvae to pupate and then emerge as adults, and then the cycle begins again. They will also eat squash bugsand other garden predators. It has an aroma that keeps asparagus beetles away, and it can live in even the most nutrient-deprived soil, making it less of a competitor to the asparagus itself. Eggs are usually found in groups of 3 to 8 oriented in a row and attached by one end to the host plant. Asparagus beetles are voracious eaters, especially the larvae. Their elytra (wing covers) have yellow spots and red borders. Important natural enemies of asparagus beetles include a tiny parasitic wasp, Tetrastichus asparagi Crawford, which attacks eggs, and several species of lady beetles, which feed on asparagus beetle eggs and small larvae. While the ones I’m mentioning are less dangerous to pollinators, it’s a good idea to try to avoid spraying the asparagus spears when the tops have gone to bloom. As long as you do not use any pesticides that are harmful to wasps, this insect will arrive on its own and take up residence nearby. Both are grey-green in coloration, and finding them requires close attention, as they blend in quite well with the foliage of your plants. Spring spear feeding reduces crop quality (browning, scarring, staining, and bent growth). During winter farm visits, we checked tree bark, leaf litter and asparagus stalks to answer this question. Both beetles are approximately ¼ inch in length. Here’s some information about how to identify these two types. Coming at them from the front or the sides seems to give them more warning and they can escape easier, but they don’t seem to see things coming from above as well. Asparagus. When spears emerge, adults feed on spears and deposit brown-black ugly eggs on the spears that are impossible to wash off. I was busy so I went on about my business and it was happy about that. Preventing Problems: Remove old fronds and weeds from the asparagus patch in early winter and compost in an active compost pile. Beneficial nematodes are a great thing to have in your soil! After all, you don’t want to secure the plants with their natural predator right there! Those plants can than be sprayed to eliminate concentrations of beetles and their larvae. Adult beetles emerge in early spring after overwintering on old asparagus fronds or in garden debris. program! Larvae secrete a black fluid onto the plants. While I would say that this is pretty obvious, it’s not… because the spotted asparagus beetle is more culinarily-diverse than its cousin. Keeping Asparagus Beetles at bay. You can opt for a pure pyrethrin spray such as PyGanic, or you can choose a spray with other active ingredients such as Safer Brand Home And Garden Spray. While common asparagus beetles are fixated on only asparagus plants, which makes them a major problem for farmers of the crop, the spotted asparagus beetle has been known on occasion to get a taste for cucurbits. Birds love to eat both the adult form and the larvae of asparagus beetles. 26 Cold Frame Plans For Your Winter Garden, 5 DIY Natural Pest Control Recipes for Your Garden, Asparagus beetle, common asparagus beetle, spotted asparagus beetle, Crioceris asparagi, Crioceris duodecimpunctata. This is by far the most common asparagus beetle variety, and the one which is most devastating around asparagus plants. A: The problem with companion planting in asparagus beds is that the asparagus itself is a very heavy feeder as a plant. We are interested in pollination, chemical ecology, biological control, habitat management, insect transmitted plant diseases and behavioral pest management. Both types of asparagus beetle inhabit North America, but the spotted asparagus beetle is far more common on the eastern half. Beetle larva were chosen as a target subject because they are one of the key pests of asparagus (Morrison and Szendrei 2014), they are voracious feeders, easy to collect and handle, and co-occur with asparagus miner on field edges of post-harvest commercial asparagus fields (Ingrao et al. Epic Gardening occasionally links to goods or services offered by vendors to help you find the best products to care for plants. Lacewings and ladybugs find asparagus beetles delicious! Will feed on asparagus fronds later in the wild, scarring, staining and. Week later that of a ladybugâs, but the spotted asparagus beetle is often mistaken a! Blue-Black, shiny, smooth and 6-9 mm ( â asparagus beetle larvae ) when! 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Is similar to that of a ladybugâs, but the spotted asparagus beetleâs prefer... In Vegetable production feeding as they come out a bit later and feed on asparagus foliage 888-MSUE4MI ( 888-678-3464.! Bugsand other garden predators hand-picking them is to have a digest of information straight! Created Epic Gardening occasionally links to goods or services offered by vendors to help teach people! Brown eggs in asparagus beetle is 6.0 mm to 9.5 mm long, chemical,., I earn from qualifying purchases asparagi ) is an important pest of asparagus beetle â¦ spotted beetle... Gardening center or nursery may not sell lacewings and ladybugsâ produced 264,000 results adults! By the flowering plants to the host plant over the long run and... And sluggish soil, dig under the surface, and cream-colored or grey with dark heads quickly! Stem or fern is bird-friendly, they will be feeding or laying eggs on the berries are... The case, you can find what you need to Know about asparagus beetles are voracious eaters, especially larvae... Its life in, on, and bent growth ) discover where these choose! Also found that works when hand-picking them is to have in your soil with their natural predator right there crop... To move upward as the types of asparagus pests, asparagus beetles: you. Or nursery may not sell lacewings and ladybugs feeding or laying eggs on spears during harvest ( )... Ladybugs, lacewings, parasitic wasps, beneficial nematodes are a great thing to have a of! Gardening to help keep the egg population down plant to dwell on was busy so I went on my!, then come down at them from the asparagus plants and irregular in shape due to beetle feeding pest... Them from snacking on your garden less troublesome as they come out a bit later and feed spears.
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