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Chasing asparagus beetles

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Chasing asparagus beetles

Post  llama momma on 5/22/2014, 6:44 am

Asparagus beetles have begun their attack.  Disposable gloves are on and I get closer to smoosh it. At the last second the little stinker runs around to the backside of the frond/stem to hide. Look at the back of the stem and its gone because it performed its second escape trick of dropping to the ground when disturbed. At 1/4 to 1/3 inch long it's hardly worth the effort to look all over the bed floor for it. 

What are the options? Handpicking with quicker hands, Neem which could kill the beneficial Eulophid wasps that kill Aspar. beetles.  Or, shaking the branch with a container of water underneath to catch and drown. Or hold a pizza box under the branch and shake...

Mother Earth article - by Barabara Pleasant:
  
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/asparagus-beetle-organic-control-zw0z1301zkin.aspx#axzz32RHO6eJq
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llama momma

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Re: Chasing asparagus beetles

Post  southern gardener on 5/22/2014, 12:14 pm

LM...Don't know if this will work BUT...don't laugh BUT, last year, my turnips were CRAWLING with harlequin bugs; (and they run FAST), and I mean BAD. I took my Dyson hand held vacuum and sucked 'em off!! worked GREAT!! Did it again the next day, but had to really search to find them, third day, NONE!! talk about organic and FAST! lol...OK go ahead and laugh now!
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Re: Chasing asparagus beetles

Post  mollyhespra on 5/22/2014, 3:31 pm

I've typically used a metal tent stake (the ones that have a v shaped cross-section, not the round ones) to get in there and catch the beetles when they use their fall to the ground trick, only instead of the ground, I catch them with the tent stake, having strategically placed it underneath the beetle.  Then, into the hot soapy water in a small jar that I have nearby they go!

Alternatively, you can also use beneficial nematodes in the early spring as an anti-emergent control.  I only found out about the good nematodes later in the year last year, so I missed the first application.  I have some in the 'fridge waiting for a rainy day to apply them.  We'll see if they help keep the numbers down.
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Re: Chasing asparagus beetles

Post  llama momma on 5/23/2014, 7:29 am

Thanks to both of you I have other options. 

sg, I have an old dustbuster in the basement and it sounds like a fun way to tackle bugs.

mollyh. Where did you get nematodes from and would I look for a specific type?

If I vacc'd and nematoded the the area bet I could solve this issue, thanks again!
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Re: Chasing asparagus beetles

Post  mollyhespra on 5/23/2014, 6:05 pm

I have a local organic nursery that sells them. In my area, you do 3 applications: may, June and then again in august.  They sell them in these little packages.  The good nematodes are in a spot/blob covered by two layers of a spongy material (like a sandwich).  You drop the sponge into water and then dilute that to adequately spread the critters around.   You can use a low-pressure sprayer or just a watering can with a good sprinkle head.  Just make sure you do it in the evening after a good soaking rain.  The nematodes have to be kept refrigerated until you spread them, which is why you want to apply them when it's cool & wet.  It helps them survive the trip, as it were.
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