Order Coleoptera, family Chrysomelidae. Spotted asparagus beetle--Crioceris duodecim punctata. Asparagus beetle--Crioceris asparagi.
Common names: Asparagus Beetle, Spotted Asparagus Beetle
Size: Spotted asparagus beetle--1/3", asparagus beetle--1/4", larva--less than 1/3"
Identification: Blue-black cross on the back of adults; looks like four white spots on the wing covers. Eggs are shiny black and laid on young asparagus spears. Larvae are plump, long, off-white, gray, or greenish worms with black head and legs.
Biology and life cycle: Adults overwinter in plant debris. Multiple generations per year. Complete metamorphosis.
Habitat: Asparagus plants
Feeding habits: Adults and larvae eat young asparagus spears in the spring and summer.
Economic importance: Severe crop damage.
Natural control: Soil health, adapted plants, and beneficial insects--wasps, lady beetles, and green lacewings.
Organic control: Spray with plant oil products and dust plants with all-purpose flour and diatomaceous earth.
Insight: Spotted asparagus beetle has spots instead of the cross marking.