The sudden appearance of some orange and black beetles in people’s gardens can be a good omen. These little animals are very happy, and they can appear to some ladybugs; however, people should not be fooled. Although they have almost similar coloration, asparagus beetles do pose problems.
Those who find themselves growing asparagus in their home gardens should be aware that asparagus beetles will be their enemies. This is a very familiar pest; it is an annoying insect that is about half a centimeter long. There are several ways for people to keep their gardens healthy.
What Are Asparagus Beetles?
There are two types of asparagus beetles, and both are animals that target a homonymous plant, damaging the newly emerging ones. Common asparagus beetles are very tiny, only 1/4-inch long. They are bluish-black and have six cream-colored spots that are very easy to identify on their backs.
The diet of this type of beetle is only on asparagus; the adults feed on the foliage of these. They tear off each of the leaves, feed on the young spears, and lay all their eggs on them. The second type of beetle is the “Spotted Asparagus Beetle” they are 1/4 inch long and have a bright orange body.
They are often confused with ladybugs; this is related to the other type of beetle because they only eat asparagus. The eggs hatch into orange larvae that only feed on asparagus.
How To Identify Asparagus Beetles?
People must know how to correctly identify the two different types of asparagus beetles that currently exist. It is the common asparagus beetle that is found much more frequently and is the one that tends to do much more damage.
On the other hand, the spotted asparagus beetle is reddish-orange and with twelve black spots. Both have the same measurements, and their main objective is the same: asparagus.
Types Of Asparagus Beetles
There are only two types of asparagus beetles, and both are responsible for attacking all asparagus crops. The common asparagus beetle and the spotted asparagus beetle are the two types of beetles that exist today. The larvae of each of these types are slug-shaped with visible legs and heads.
The spotted asparagus beetle is orange in color with big black spots on its back. The asparagus beetle is black or blue with six white spots.
Adults of both types of asparagus beetles hibernate in yard waste and leftover plants. The common asparagus beetle emerges very early at the same time as the spear. The larvae emerge within a week, and then they begin to move constantly upward as the plant grows and they feed on.
The adults of these asparagus beetles live during the winter in very sheltered places (under the bark of trees). Adults appear in gardens only when asparagus leaves the ground in spring.
Signs Of Asparagus Beetles
They can fly, which means that they can invade asparagus porcelains in the vicinity of places where they have spent the winter. The larvae and adults feed on the foliage and bark of each of the asparagus. If the bark around the stems has been completely removed, the foliage above is completely dry and yellowish.
Are Asparagus Beetles Harmful?
Asparagus beetles, which feed entirely on the leaves, weaken the plants and reduce their capacities. Plants that reduce their capacities cannot provide enough nutrients for the next season. Less presence of leaves makes asparagus a perfect target for Fusarium (fungal disease).
You must know that asparagus beetles are harmful to asparagus plants, rendering them useless and even damaging an entire crop. Feeding this beetle can cause some scars and spots that are 100% visible as they chew and deposit their droppings. In summer, the asparagus beetles usually move to feed on the ferns, and defoliation means weakening the plant.
Plants that are weakened are often more susceptible to Fusarium wilt or other different pathogens. The damage that asparagus beetles can cause can limit the number of nutrients that plants absorb during the growing season. These animals are very harmful to asparagus crops; people must be very careful not to get close to them.
Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Ground Beetles Naturally
How To Eliminate Asparagus Beetles Naturally?
In most cases, experts recommend that only organic treatments be used to combat these beetles. Among the main methods are:
As soon as people notice that asparagus beetles are growing, they should be hand-picked daily. Also, you can add a bucket of soapy water, so it will fight even the brown eggs that have to be shaved.
Having people cut off the asparagus shoots as they appear and leave them no longer than two days between harvests will help prevent the eggs from hatching. If the shoots are contaminated with eggs, they have to be cut immediately as they are large enough.
Use of oil
Neem oil is perfect to be applied in all plantations that have serious infestations by asparagus beetles. The stems must be very well coated with this oil each week; this will help keep the animals at bay.
How To Prevent Asparagus Beetles?
An infestation of asparagus beetles can completely ruin a total crop of this food. However, there are methods to prevent these beetles:
The early harvest of asparagus is another of the various methods that help break these animals’ life cycle and prevent them. People should make sure they check each of the stems that are collected and see if the adults are found.
Use other predatory insects
Many insects are natural predators of asparagus beetles and serve to prevent these animals from having a presence in crops. Lacewing and ladybugs are animals that will help eat the eggs and small larvae left behind by asparagus beetles.
Animals for control
Backyard chickens and wild birds are animals that will easily and easily eat asparagus beetles (also their larvae). Allowing chickens to feed in the gardens during the summer months will very simply prevent the presence of asparagus beetles.