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@#$%^&*( Asparagus Beetles

14 May 2012
Cloudy 22°C / 72°F

I’ve had trouble with the Spotted Asparagus Beetle for a couple of years now … can’t tell you how many I’ve squished, how many larva I’ve dropped into soapy water, and how many eggs I’ve rubbed off the plants. Today, I went to pick the asparagus and there were Common Asparagus Beetles. I squished three out in the garden, and another five when I cleaned the asparagus inside. Terry and I went out in February and cut down the asparagus stalks because that’s where the Spotted Asparagus Beetle supposedly lays their eggs. We didn’t compost the stalks, we put them in the garbage. This is so frustrating.

On the brighter side, I did plant my rutabaga seeds … two kinds, Laurentian and Helenor Organic. There weren’t a lot of seeds in the Helenor packet, so I just managed to plant two four-foot rows. The Laurentian is also in two four-foot rows, but there are lots of seeds left over.

I mulched both kinds of peas with grass clippings after weeding the bed. Also sprayed all the hostas with ammonia water. Also sprayed the pathway by the ‘Pathway Flowerbed’ with a weed killer – I think it’s just a really strong vinegar as that’s all I could smell. I was a bit disappointed when I smelled it, but an hour later it looks as though it is managing to kill quite a few weeds, so I’m pleased I didn’t waste my money.


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How frustrating! I hope you can find a solution to get rid of them. It’s not like you can rotate asparagus. Is there a known trap plant?

Posted on 14 May 12 (about 3 years ago)

@flowerweaver – marigolds apparently are supposed to deter them, but I’ve been extremely unsuccessful growing my own, and the stores are just now getting their plants in. I don’t know if it’s too late to plant them or not. I don’t know if they need to be blooming to work (nothing I’ve read ever says that part).
And nope … can’t rotate asparagus! :)

Posted on 14 May 12 (about 3 years ago)

My mom (in Rochester, NY) has been battling asparagus beetles this year. Sorry to hear that you have them too. She took similar precautions to yours to prevent their overwintering after the last year, which was the first time she’d seen them, but the asparagus beetles returned in force this year.

Posted on 15 May 12 (about 3 years ago)

I wonder if there is some way to attract these little wasps who are asparagus beetle predators? http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/acorn/ne.aspx?ne=Eulophid_wasp-_Tetrastichus_asparagi

According to this publication, “For most beneficials, including parasitic wasps, the most helpful blossoms are small and relatively open. Plants from the aster, carrot and buckwheat families are especially useful.”

Posted on 15 May 12 (about 3 years ago)

@anelson – Thanks. I’ll have to look up those flower families and see if there’s something I can put in immediately.

Posted on 15 May 12 (about 3 years ago)

So sorry you are having to deal with those pests. It can be so frustrating. Perhaps it will subside in future years.

Posted on 15 May 12 (about 3 years ago)

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Gardener

HollyBee

Elgin, Ontario

Canada



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