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Eco-friendly Control of Asparagus Beetles

You wait all winter for your asparagus harvest and so do the common and spotted asparagus beetles.

These common pests of asparagus feed on the emerging stems causing browning, scarring and crooking of the stems.  Later in the season the larvae of the common asparagus beetle feed on the foliage.  Severe defoliation can weaken the plants.

Both beetles are about ¼ inch long and oval in shape. The common asparagus beetle is bluish black with cream-colored spots while the spotted asparagus beetle is reddish orange with black spots.

Start watching for these pests as soon as the asparagus peeks through the ground.  Remove and drop the beetles and their worm-like larvae into a container of soapy water.  Smash any of the eggs as soon as they are discovered.

Avoid chemicals as these also kill the parasitic wasp that helps control these pests. A little time controlling these insects means a bigger and better tasting harvest.

A bit more information: Control the weeds and you will also increase your harvest. Regular removal and mulching will keep annual weeds under control. Quackgrass and other perennial weeds require more persistence to remove these from the garden.

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