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Beetles Damaging Asparagus Plants

The stems of my asparagus have black marks, some stems wilt and others turn brown. I have found a few beetles crawling on the plants. Are they causing the problem?

Yes. Both the common and spotted asparagus beetle can cause the damage you describe. They begin feeding as the plants emerge in spring and produce a second generation that feeds on the greenery and cause defoliation. Control these pests by handpicking and dropping the beetles and their worm-like larvae into a container of soapy water. Use insecticides as a last option. These chemicals also kill the parasitic wasp that helps control these pests. Handpicking along with fall cleanup is usually sufficient to minimize damage in small gardens.


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