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I've had the biggest problems with Asian Stink Bugs (an invasive species that is terrorizing the Midatlantic USA region) and Asparagus Beetles. Oddly enough the asparagus beetles (right pic) are mostly found on my radishes, turnips and brassica, and only occasionally on my (young) asparagus. The stink bugs (left pic) are the worst, since the birds won't even eat them.

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I've been hand picking and squishing them all, and I've occasionally used neem. But I'd prefer to scare them away or confuse them with some flowers or herbs so fewer of them will show up in the first place. Any suggestions?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Basil, Calendula, Nasturtium, Parsley, Petunia, Tansy, Tomato, and marigolds are all good at preventing bugs and especially the asparagus beetle. Companion planting of flowers and herbs with your veggies will make a big difference! Good luck!

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Calendula and Tansy; hadn't heard of those. Thanks. Unfortunately, the Asian Stink Bugs love some of my tomatoes, although they leave others alone. I wonder why... – nicholas a. evans Jun 10 '11 at 16:26
Stinkbugs eat ripe tomatoes. – J. Musser Dec 18 '11 at 2:40

Marigolds are the standard repellent for both of these insects. I plant marigolds all over my garden, particularly around my tomatoes and asparagus. You can also try catnip or mint, although you need to be careful because mint has a pretty aggressive root system and can take over anything you plant it in. I put mint in a medium sized pot near my raised beds so I can contain it.

A good resource for learning about companion planting is this website:

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Marigolds are great. I've got a dozen interspersed through my garden, but I guess I should use them even more aggressively than I already have. :) – nicholas a. evans Jun 10 '11 at 16:32
Marigolds are supposed to repel rabbits too. However, I had japanese beetles living inside my marigold blossoms last year. – Peter Turner Jun 10 '11 at 16:49

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