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Monday, May 28, 2012

Attack of the Asparagus Beetle!!


I have to admit that I've been lucky up to now.. for years my asparagus has fared pretty well, aside from some occasional slug problems. Yet, when I went to the garden on the weekend to cut a handful of spears, I noticed something was amiss.. A good portion of the spears were damaged and many were covered in small (about 1/2 to 2/3 cm long) beetles with six distinct spots on their back.. it was the dreaded asparagus beetle!! (cue dramatic music) Annoying, but I can't say that I wasn't at least a little bit excited to actually have the opportunity to study their lifecycle up close and personal. (What can I say? I'm warped!)

Today when I went up to check on the beetles, I noticed that there were eggs visible on the stems and spears of some of the asparagus shoots. Tomorrow I will use a gloved hand to wipe the eggs off the stems and I will also handpick the adult beetles, dropping them in a bucket of soapy water, but today was picture day and I grabbed my camera and tried to focus on the tiny eggs and colourful beetles.. I do apologize that my camera focus wasn't co-operating as much as I would have liked. I will try again tomorrow on manual focus to see if I can get some better images.. for now though, I wanted to share these with you..

Dig those groovy little eggs. They're typically deposited in
rows of two to eight.. cool, eh??

This sideshoot was coated in the elongated dark coloured eggs.

Asparagus beetle party!! Isn't three a crowd?? 
Adults on the top right, eggs in the middle and bottom..

More eggs.. 

Gotta end on a happy note.. check out this unexpected
combination in the veggie garden: chives with catmint and
blooming mache (corn salad).. gorgeous, eh??

4 comments:

  1. As someone who just started her first asparagus bed, I say YEEEEKS! Happy bettle picking. They're probably best served dipped in chocolate. ;-)

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  2. Thanks for the info' on the asparagus beetle, Niki. Excellent photos of both the bug and the eggs.

    Donna

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  3. Good luck. I spent a Friday night last summer wandering around my garden in latex gloves, drinking beer, with a flashlight, perpetrating a slug massacre. I must have drowned at least a couple hundred. It left me with a sense of morbid satisfaction. There sure are a lot of weird looking insects that come out at night.

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  4. Thanks Niki for the heads up. Will check mine today.

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Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)