Ever wondered what those colourful bugs are doing on your ornamental plants or vegetables? Some resemble ladybirds others may be beneficial insects but how can you be sure they are not feeding on your precious harvest? My series of pictorial guides will help you identify harmful pests from beneficial insects.
Asparagus beetle is a destructive pest of the widely popular crop of delicious green spears. The photographs below are taken from a typical crop during June, the Adult beetles, larvae and eggs are present together showing the importance of being vigilant.
When harvesting your Asparagus spears you may notice a brightly coloured beetle, in such bright colours that you may mistake it for a ladybird. It certainly is not a biological predator like the Ladybird instead it is a destructive beetle that feeds off of Asparagus stems and fronds.
Next, you are likely to notice the stripping and peeling of the Asparagus stem, a few spears may also appear twisted another typical sign that your Asparagus crop is infested with Asparagus beetle.
Unfortunately, these beetles get established very quickly, if not kept in check they can quickly strip your Asparagus stems and leaves leaving behind unsightly spears and stems.
The eggs are tiny and laid in a line on the underside of the Asparagus fronds, these quickly become grubs that devour and defecate as the crawl along the Asparagus stems. Occasional picked off my garden birds and ladybirds, it is important to remove the eggs, larvae and beetles regularly.
Garden beetles are a vast species and vary from vivacious feeders to useful predators with over 40,000 beetle species identified it’s a good idea to keep track of the ones that choose to settle in your garden. The following guides to identifying garden pests and diseases will also help you find the appropriate and safest methods of control.