Taiji
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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Blister Beetles

bbs.jpg
What we call blister beetles out here. The scourge of southwest gardens. There are lots of different kinds, but these little speckled gray ones especially love potato leaves. They usually come at the driest, hottest time of the year. (now) A couple of weeks ago I saw a couple, which I always call the advance scouts. I haven't had any for a few years now, but am always on the lookout for them.

Came home yesterday evening and there were a few dozen on the potatoes. I found yesterday that spraying with alcohol kills almost instantly. I don't think it damages the leaves because it evaporates in just a few seconds. Hope I'm right. They're very tricky. If you reach for them to hand pick, or they see your shadow over them, they simply go limp and fall down into the foliage where you just can't find them.

Once in awhile, a really big black version of BB comes, and they especially like tomato leaves. If you think a hornworm does fast work, it doesn't compare to the big black blister beetles. (bbbb's) :) I need to watch out for them later. One thing I've noticed is that both versions only come one time. Thank goodness.

Both kinds in hordes can strip plants in a few hours.

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applestar
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Re: Blister Beetles

Ooh we had grey and black one a few years ago when the previous winter was exceptionally mild. They liked beets and chard leaves first, then a few other things. I didn't' know about alcohol! Must keep that in mind in case they descend on us again.
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Blister Beetles

'Tis the season for all the beetles to emerge. Thankfully, I have an active garden patrol. The cattle egret, skinks, and the anoles take care of most of the crawlies in the garden. I did have some Chinese rose beetle damage on the beans but it was minor. I had white flies earlier in the year, but they seem to have gone somewhere else.

The only two chronic problems I have are the white peach scale which nothing really kills and plumeria rust which comes every year. Even the thrips in the gardenia and jasmine aren't as active. And I have been getting a bit of summer rain and that is keeping the spider mites at bay. The erineum mites showed up earlier so I did have to treat the hibiscus.

Now, if my cat will step it up and catch the roaches faster, that would be great.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Blister Beetles

Does seem to be the time of year for beetles to start emerging. Haven't seen any of the Japanese beetles or June bugs yet, but they are likely to show up soon. Today I saw a leaf-footed bug and some kind of cute little blue beetle with an orange spot. Light blue, not shiny/metallic, shaped almost like a firefly. I can't find any pictures like it.
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Taiji
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Re: Blister Beetles

I'm guessing blister beetles don't have any natural enemies. (I guess you could say I'm their natural enemy tho!) :) I could be wrong, I should probably google it, but with a name like that? I'm thinking even my lizards would stay back. Supposedly they raise blisters on a person if you hold them long enough?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Blister Beetles

It is beetle season! Just saw my first Japanese beetle today!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Taiji
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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Re: Blister Beetles

I remember Japanese beetles from when I was a little kid in West Virginia. Luckily, we don't have them here, nor the Colorado Potato Beetle.

Just this evening I saw a lizard guarding a June bug he captured in the garden; then saw another one feasting on a big fat juicy grub! They never stop working.

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applestar
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Re: Blister Beetles

No Blisters so far (knock on wood)

I did see one of these -- big one. Pretty sure it was same as the one ID'd on BugGuide as Grapevine Beetle, but I saw it on an Elderflower -- way high up and by the time I returned with my iPad, it had moved so I couldn't get a good photo....

large light brown beetle - Pelidnota punctata - BugGuide.Net
https://bugguide.net/node/view/307744
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Blister Beetles

To my knowledge, I've never seen that one!! :)

I will have to try catching some of my JB's and see if the chickens will eat them!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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