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The Asparagus Beetle (Crioceris asparagi) is a harmful pest of Asparagus plants and can significantly reduce the yield to harvest. The adult beetles will overwinter in leaf litter and vegetation after which they can fly from plant to plant. There are normally two to three generations of Asparagus Beetle a year from May to September. The adult beetles will become active in May and the females can lay 80-90 eggs each. When temperatures are over 14℃ these eggs will take about 3-10 days to hatch into larvae, which are a grey to white colour. The larvae are active for 10-15 days, depending on temperatures, before they fall off the Asparagus plants to pupate in the soil after which they will emerge as new adults.
Both the adult and the larval stage of the Asparagus Beetle feed on the Asparagus stems and foliage. When infested, the foliage will dry up and turn brown. In severe cases the plants will become defoliated. The larvae and adult beetles can also excrete a black fluid onto the Asparagus spears, which contaminates them. Asparagus Beetle attack can also lead to a very poor harvest the following season.
As soon as Asparagus Beetles and larvae have been observed, hand pick them off the plants if possible and remove vegetation in the winter that the adult beetles can overwinter in. To control the pest, apply our Asparagus Beetle Killer Nematodes. These nematodes are applied directly onto the Asparagus Beetle larvae which the nematodes will then kill. The nematodes are applied when the larvae are present on the plants.