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Asparagus Beetles

In honor of National Asparagus Day on May 24, we thought we might share some info on a common issue we have around this time of year with our old friend the Asparagus Beetle.

Here's one we found last Friday during Farmer's Market prep, a Common Asparagus Beetle (there's also a Spotted Asparagus Beetle that is red with black spots).

We grabbed some quick facts from the University of Minnesota Extension:

  • The common asparagus beetle and the spotted asparagus beetle feed on asparagus spears and cause browning and scarring.

  • Start looking for these pests in early May or just after asparagus plants emerge and continue for the rest of the growing season.

  • The best time to check for asparagus beetles is in the afternoon when they are most active.

  • You can manage common asparagus beetles by handpicking them and dropping them in a pail of soapy water.

  • If you find a lot of asparagus beetles in your garden you may want to use a pesticide - we like using Neem Oil, which is pretty easy to find in garden centers and stores.

Even if you do not see the beetles, you may also run into their eggs on your spears as rows of dark colored ovals sticking out of the plant:

We mostly manage them by hand picking them into that jar of soap mentioned in the above list, but do you all have any other tips, tricks, or tidbits about this pest?

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