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Watch your plants closely in late April and early May as the new stalks start to appear. The spotted beetles are less troublesome as they come out a bit later and feed on the berries rather than the ferns and spears. common asparagus beetle is the more widespread of the two species. Most larvae dislodged this way will lack the energy to climb back up and return to eating, and will subsequently die on the soil’s surface. 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. Q: Are there companion plants that repel asparagus beetles? The spotted asparagus beetle’s body is similar to that of a ladybug’s, but it has a large, red head. Their elytra (wing covers) have yellow spots and red borders. We are interested in pollination, chemical ecology, biological control, habitat management, insect transmitted plant diseases and behavioral pest management. There are two types that are commonly found in the US. As spring comes and the first signs of new asparagus shoot growth occurs, the adult beetle will also emerge from its winter hiding space. 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. These are the same beetles that will emerge from overwintering when spring comes. 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. Identification: Common asparagus beetle is blue-black, shiny, smooth and 6-9 mm (⅜ inch) long. Often seen as a pumpkin-colored orange beetle with black spots in the western United States, or a medium to dark red beetle with black spots in the east, it is similar in some regards to a ladybug… until you look at its elongated head and almost feathery-looking antennae. So what’s happening within fields may be just as important as the types of trees that are nearby. 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. Using a product such as neem oil can also prove to be beneficial. This is by far the most common asparagus beetle variety, and the one which is most devastating around asparagus plants. Beneficial nematodes are a great thing to have in your soil! During winter farm visits, we checked tree bark, leaf litter and asparagus stalks to answer this question. Colder climates have fewer life cycles. The ¼ inch long adults emerge from overwintering sites in and around the garden in early spring and feed on emerging spears. 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. Preventing Problems: Remove old fronds and weeds from the asparagus patch in early winter and compost in an active compost pile. They secrete a black fluid which stains the plant. These growers are making frequent insecticide applications to kill the beetles, but populations rebound quickly afterwards. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. They drop from the plant down into the soil, dig under the surface, and form a cocoon there. Stay tuned to learn more about the research happening in the MSU Vegetable Entomology Lab and Michigan State University Extension! Check out the Agribusiness Management B.S. They grow to about 9 mm long and have three pairs of legs near the head and fleshy prolegs on most abdominal segments. Common asparagus beetle larvae are light gray with a black head. 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 I was busy so I went on about my business and it was happy about that. This article contains incorrect information, This article is missing information that I need. These microscopic soil organisms will help you by killing the larvae in their pupa beneath the surface of the soil or in leaf litter. If you see an odd-colored beetle that’s a bluish-black in color with red and white, it might be the common asparagus beetle, Crioceris asparagi. So what can you do to battle the beetle? 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. Keeping Asparagus Beetles at bay. The common asparagus beetle larvae have light gray to cream colored bodies and black heads and legs (Figure 3-A). Read on, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about asparagus beetles and how to get rid of them. 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. 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. Where exactly are these beetles coming from? The spotted asparagus beetle larvae are orange and adults are red-orange with black spots. Tell me in the comments! Spinosad and pyrethrin sprays, ladybugs, lacewings, parasitic wasps, beneficial nematodes, neem oil, floating row covers. The spotted asparagus beetle’s larvae prefer the berries that are formed by the flowering plants to the foliage itself. Spotted asparagus beetle larvae are orange. It is decidedly different in appearance (Figure 11) , life cycle and importance as an asparagus pest. But just how many beetles are sheltering in these different places? This tiny wasp, Tetrastichus asparagi, will lay its eggs in asparagus beetle larvae. Asparagus is its only food plant. 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. Access to the right shelter could increase their survival into spring. Common Asparagus Beetle: Crioceris asparagi (L.) Common asparagus beetle: adult. We expect these results will lead to management recommendations in the future. Use beneficial insects to help keep the egg population down. A little more about me. What time isn’t spent around asparagus is generally spent trying to locate a new asparagus plant to dwell on. It can occasionally lay eggs on the flowers of these plants, and on occasion the larvae will snack on newly-forming melons or squash. Eggs. After all, you don’t want to secure the plants with their natural predator right there! There may be two to five generations of this pest each year. 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. Adult over-winters in trash around garden. Asparagus beetle larvae on fern. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. 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. The common asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi) is an important pest of asparagus crops both in Europe and in North America. 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. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). They range in colour from light-yellow to dark-brown, depending on the age of the egg. The common asparagus beetle emerges early, at the same time as the asparagus spear. They also protect against other pupating insects such as potato bugs, fungus gnats, and cutworms. Another beetle associated with asparagus is the spotted asparagus beetle. Asparagus Beetle. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. When spears emerge, adults feed on spears and deposit brown-black ugly eggs on the spears that are impossible to wash off. Larvae secrete a black fluid onto the plants. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. Show your Spartan pride and give the gift of delicious MSU Dairy Store cheese this holiday season! 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. Japanese beetles are a major pest of fruit crops, turf and home gardens, and, since 2009, have become increasingly abundant in west Michigan asparagus fields. 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. The beetle is 6.0 mm to 9.5 mm long and slightly elongated. It has an elongated head with feathery-looking antennae. 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. Larvae. Asparagus is a great crop to grow. Adults of both types overwinter in plant debris and garden trash. Hi, I'm Kevin. I created Epic Gardening to help teach 10,000,000 people how to grow anything, no matter where they live in the world. It takes about a week for the larvae to pupate and then emerge as adults, and then the cycle begins again. As the season progresses, larvae feed on asparagus foliage. Here’s some information about how to identify these two types. Aside from the color of the spears, they will also appear to be visually weak, as if lacking life. This particular beetle eats both wild plants found in nature and garden plants. Bright red, cream and dark blue coloured beetles, oval shaped and about 1cm long. As a general rule, the asparagus beetle spends the majority of its life in, on, under, or beside asparagus plants. While asparagus beetles are horrible to any lover of fresh spring asparagus spears, these tips can help you to keep them at bay and protect your future harvest. Adults lay shiny black eggs on the spears; the eggs hatch about a week later. But there is a down side to growing this phenomenal edible… the asparagus beetle. Anywhere that one has been feeding will turn brownish in color. Approximately two weeks after emerging from the egg, the larvae are now prepared for pupation. A recent Google search for “where to buy lacewings and ladybugs” produced 264,000 results. While you're here, why not follow us on Facebook and YouTube? This information is for educational purposes only. Beetle is about 1/4” long, metallic blue-black with red and white markings. Adult beetles emerge in early spring after overwintering on old asparagus fronds or in garden debris. Crioceris duodecimpunctata (Spotted Asparagus Beetle) I have been noticing these strange varmints on the Asparagus. Spotted asparagus beetle larvae are orange and adults are reddish orange with six prominent black spots on each wing cover. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Asparagus beetle larvae – These larvae are soft-bodied, plump, humpbacked, wrinkled, and sluggish. Please remember that some insecticides are harmful to bees. beetles. It also has the added bonus of being human and pet safe, and it’s safe for most beneficial insects as well. Eggs are usually found in groups of 3 to 8 oriented in a row and attached by one end to the host plant. Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. October 12, 2020. But if you do want to try companion plants, look at light-feeding herbs. These larvae will feed on the ferns of the asparagus plants for approximately two weeks before dropping to the soil to pupate. Jennifer Zavalnitskaya and Zsofia Szendrei, Michigan State University Department of Entomology - We are continuing our research into asparagus beetle overwintering to learn more this upcoming winter. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Spotted asparagus beetle larvae are typically darker in color than the common asparagus beetle larvae. If the adult beetle can’t eat the fresh asparagus tips, it won’t stick around. Photos from: Bugwood.org Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series Injury Both the larvae and the adults damage the asparagus plants. The eggs of the common asparagus beetles are dark brown and cylindrical shaped (Figure 3-B). 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. If you’re very sure that you don’t have overwintering asparagus beetles in your soil, you can keep a floating row cover over your plants. We also found that a higher proportion of beetles overwinter within asparagus fields. A: One of the worst things about asparagus beetles is that they do fly. Learn more about where asparagus beetles go during winter and management implications. The feeding of spotted asparagus beetle larvae on berries does not affect the health of asparagus plants over the long run. Spotted asparagus beetle may also affect some cucurbits. Common asparagus beetle larvae. These eggs do not develop into larvae during harvest, as … Birds love to eat both the adult form and the larvae of asparagus beetles. 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. The spotted asparagus beetle’s larvae prefer the berries that are formed by the flowering plants to the foliage itself. We're always looking to improve our articles to help you become an even better gardener. 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. Epic Gardening occasionally links to goods or services offered by vendors to help you find the best products to care for plants. 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. They start by having a snack to replenish themselves, feasting lightly on the tips of the new shoots. We found beetles overwintering in many places, including decomposing asparagus stalks, under leaf litter and underneath tree bark (Figure 2). For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. Both types of asparagus beetle inhabit North America, but the spotted asparagus beetle is far more common on the eastern half. The larvae of the asparagus beetle are dark gray with a black head. Life Cycle/Habits. The eggs hatch within seven days, creating small larvae. 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. French and Mexican marigolds can also repel asparagus beetles, but it might be better to surround your asparagus bed with them rather than planting them amidst the asparagus crowns, although marigolds also offer protection from nematodes and other plant problems if they’re close by. A: The problem with companion planting in asparagus beds is that the asparagus itself is a very heavy feeder as a plant. Asparagus beetle larvae are dark, green-gray grubs about 1/3 inch (9 mm) long when fully grown. You can identify when an asparagus beetle is feeding on your plants when there are holes or pits in the leaves, stalks, or plant structure. There is also another species of asparagus beetle known as the spotted asparagus beetle. Spotted asparagus beetle larvae are typically darker in color than the common asparagus beetle larvae. If your asparagus patch is bird-friendly, they will help you with asparagus beetle control. Two to five life cycles can happen in a year’s time, depending on the weather conditions where the plants are. While it will not necessarily kill off the asparagus beetles, neem oil does dissuade them from snacking on your garden. Michigan State University Extension will explain what we know, and don’t know, about scouting and managing Japanese beetles in asparagus.. Japanese beetles have one generation per year and overwinter as a C-shaped grub in … insecticides when larvae are first noticed feeding on plants. This perennial produces delicious spears every year in the spring. The spotted asparagus beetle is not as destructive to asparagus, but still feeds on it, as I’ll explain a little further on. Ladybugs and lacewings will happily eat the asparagus beetle eggs and stop larvae from being born. Although it’s getting cooler during the fall, asparagus beetles are still active and seeking overwintering habitat all throughout and nearby Michigan asparagus fields. In order to answer this question, it’s important to understand what these beetles are doing in the fall and throughout the upcoming winter. We found that asparagus beetles that overwinter in deciduous leaves or old asparagus stalks survive at higher rates compared to pine needles and bark. The most distinctive markings are three large cream-colored, squarish spots with red margins along each wing cover. Crioceris asparagi, ‘Common Asparagus Beetle’. Symptoms and Effects: Adults of the common asparagus beetle feed on asparagus spears and ferns. Asparagus beetle overwintering cages Research in the Vegetable Entomology Lab focuses on the ecology and management of arthropods that occur in vegetable production. Asparagus beetles lay eggs on spears during harvest (A), which reduces spear quality. Vegetable Entomology Lab at Michigan State University. Beetles and larvae also feed on asparagus fronds later in the season. 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. Larvae of both asparagus beetles are slug-like, and cream-colored or grey with dark heads. What I’ve found that works when hand-picking them is to have a container of soapy warm water on hand. They will also eat squash bugsand other garden predators. In addition, the larvae of the spotted asparagus beetle will feed inside developing berries and consume foliage. Summer fern feeding can cause defoliation and … 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. Adults are blue-black beetles with a red prothorax. They will be feeding or laying eggs on asparagus spears and fronds. The eggs of the asparagus beetle are small, brown ovals and will usually be present in abundance. The bullet-shaped eggs are laid in rows perpendicular to the stem or fern. Eggs of the asparagus beetle are most commonly found on the spear. The most common of asparagus pests, asparagus beetles weaken plants when fed upon by adults and larvae. These will be either on the spears themselves (for the common asparagus beetle), or on the ferns or flowers (frequented by both types). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Organic methods of asparagus beetle … Carefully slip the soapy water beneath the beetle on the plant, then come down at them from the top. Larvae are dark green-gray grubs about 3/4 inch (9 mm) long when full grown. Most gardeners try to keep everything other than asparagus out of their asparagus beds, including any and all weeds, companion plants, etcetera. Managing Outbreaks: There are two generations of asparagus beetle between May and September. 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. One day I stopped briefly to look at one and it appeared almost slug-like. 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. 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. Spring spear feeding reduces crop quality (browning, scarring, staining, and bent growth). Do you grow asparagus, and if so, have you had problems with the asparagus beetle? Crioceris duodecimpunctata, ‘Spotted Asparagus Beetle’. Within a week of its appearance, the common beetles begin laying brown eggs in rows of three to eight on the new spears. Their initial appearance is later How well do beetles survive in these different habitats? 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