What is on my red beet leaves? #130776 - Ask Extension

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What is on my red beet leaves? #130776

Asked May 30, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Good morning,  I just noticed that the leaves of the red beets growing in my raised vegetable garden have some strange whitish stuff on them.  Can you identify what it is and give me some tips on how to treat?  I would really appreciate it!  Thanks you!  Isabelle  

Denver County Colorado

Expert Response

This is damage from larvae (maggots) of the spinach - beet leafminer
(Pegomya hyoscami).   Larvae feed between upper and lower leaf surfaces, leaving "frass" pellets in the blotchy mines.  This insect (adult is a small 1/4" fly) causes more damage to spinach, beet and chard leaves in May-June than later in summer.

Remove/destroy infested leaves as soon as noticed. Use "floating row covers" over spinach/chard/beets at planting to exclude flies.Yellow sticky traps may catch some adults.  No pesticides are recommended.
Robert Cox Replied June 04, 2013, 2:48 PM EDT

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