Red Turnip Beetles- Mating The Red Turnip Beetle likes to eat the leaves of plants in the Cabbage Family (Brassicaceae). These include vegetables as well as ornamentals such as Rockcress, Candytuft, Alyssum and Stock. They are quite conspicuous and can be easily removed by hand and dispatched. Their larvae are about 1/4" long, slender and brownish-black with a shiny black head. They also like to eat the leaves of these plants. When disturbed, they release their grip on a leaf, curl into a crescent shape and fall to the ground where their dark color camouflages them. I catch them on a clear, plastic sheet before they can hit the ground and this has worked well for reducing their populations to a tolerable level with no poisonous insecticides.