How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Asparagus

Asparagus Beetles

Scientific name:
Asparagus beetle: Crioceris asparagi
Spotted asparagus beetle: Crioceris duodecimpunctata

(Reviewed 6/09, updated 2/12)

In this Guideline:


DESCRIPTION OF THE PESTS

Asparagus beetle larvae are dark green-gray grubs about 1/3 inch (9 mm) long when fully grown. Adults are blue-black beetles with a red prothorax. Their elytra (wing covers) have yellow spots and red borders.

Spotted asparagus beetle larvae are orange colored and adults are reddish orange with six prominent black spots on each wing cover.

DAMAGE

Asparagus beetles injure the plant by feeding on the tips of tender young shoots. After leaves come out, asparagus beetles and their larvae gnaw on the surface of the stems and devour the leaves. If injury to the fern is severe, the crown is weakened, particularly if the asparagus stand is young.

MANAGEMENT

Although they are found wherever asparagus is grown, asparagus beetles are not normally serious pests in California. Some local infestations do occur, however, and control measures may be necessary to prevent serious injury to the asparagus stand, particularly when the stands are young. If beetles are feeding on spears early in the season, let some plants near the edge of the field produce fern growth to attract the beetles away from the spears. If necessary, treat these areas.

Common name Amount per Acre** R.E.I.‡ P.H.I.‡
(example trade name)   (hours) (days)

  Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
The following materials are listed in order of usefulness in an IPM program, taking into account efficacy, information related to natural enemies and honey bees and environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
 
A. SPINETORAM
  (Radiant) SC 4-8 fl oz 4 see comments
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 5
  COMMENTS: Apply only postharvest to ferns; do not apply within 60 days of spear harvest.
 
B. CHLORPYRIFOS*
  (Lorsban Advanced) 2 pt 24 see comments
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 1B
  COMMENTS: Apply to the fern stage; limited to 2 postharvest applications/year;. Avoid drift and tailwater runoff into surface waters. Use allowed under a Supplemental Label.
 
C. METHOMYL*
  (Lannate) LV 1.5–3 pt 48 1
  SP 0.5–1 lb 48 1
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 1A
  COMMENTS: Apply at 5–7 day intervals as needed. Do not apply more than 4.5 lb a.i./acre/crop.
 
D. CARBARYL*
  (Sevin XLR Plus) 2–4 qt 12 1
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 1A
  COMMENTS: Apply to ferns or brush growth. Repeat applications as necessary but not closer than 7 days and not more than 5 applications/year.
 
E. PERMETHRIN*
  (Ambush, Pounce) 3.2–6.4 oz 12 1
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3
  COMMENTS: Apply by ground equipment only. Do not apply more than 0.4 lb a.i./acre/season.
 
F. PYRETHRIN/ROTENONE
  (Pyrellin EC) 1–2 pt 12 12 hours
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3/21
  COMMENTS: Apply at intervals of 7 days or less and repeat as necessary. Less effective than other materials.
 
** See label for dilution rates.
Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode of action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at http://www.irac-online.org/.

[Precautions]

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Asparagus
UC ANR Publication 3435

Insects

  • E. T. Natwick, UC Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects:
  • R. J. Mullen, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County
  • W. E. Chaney, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County
  • C. B. Fouche, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County

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