Bugs Attacking Asparagus - Knowledgebase Question

Name: James Wells
Morehead, KY
Avatar for jamesw
Question by jamesw
April 29, 1998
We have a three year old asparagus patch that we just started harvesting from this year. I have notice some little winged bugs that are eating holes and then laying orange eggs. There are also little black things (larvae?) that are sticking straight out of the asparagus stalk! What is this and what can be done about it?

Answer from NGA
April 29, 1998
Sounds like you aren't the only ones enjoying the asparagus after three years of waiting! Your culprit sounds like the Asparagus beetle. The roles are reversed, though - the black things are the eggs and the larvae are orange. It's hard to apply insecticides to control the beetles because they fly away quickly.

This fall, remove all the dead ferns and mulch from the patch, and apply fresh compost and mulch. This should remove /disturb most of the pupae. In spring, cover your patch with a summer-weight floating row cover (available from Gardener's Supply Co., www.gardeners.com; ph# 800/863-1700) as spears begin to emerge, and leave it in place til the end of harvest. This will prevent the beetles from laying eggs. Hope this helps!

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