Spotted asparagus beetle© Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
Asparagus beetle eggs© Beentree
Common aspargus beetle© Keith Edkins
Asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi)
These small (6-8mm long) beetles are either black with six yellow spots (common asparagus beetle) or orange with black spots (spotted asparagus beetle). The adults eat emerging spears during the spring, lay eggs and then the larvae eat the stems and foliage.
- Holes and yellow or brown discolouration in emerging asparagus tips
- Whole spear may die if damage severe
Prevention & control
- Keep crowns clear of debris to deny adults anywhere to hide over winter. Burn old stems.
- Interplanting with tomato, calendula or nasturtium may encourage them to look elsewhere
- Pick them off or use a physical barrier such as enviromesh
- Encourage beneficial insects such as ladybirds which will eat the larvae
- In severe infestations and/or for large areas, a pyrethrum spray is effective