Blister Beetles

With gardening it seems, if its not one thing, its another. Having battled Potato Bugs and Beetles for the past few weeks and almost completely eradicating them, I thought the potatoes were all set to produce for me but a few days ago noticed something new crawling on them.

Found on potato leaves

Found on potato leaves

After searching for some time on Google Images, I believe this is a Blister Beetle and they are bad news. Apparently they do not bite or sting but can secrete a substance that causes blisters to the skin. Once my eyes were trained to “see” them, I realized the potato plants were crawling with them. So, armed with my trusty peanut butter jar, I set to capturing as many as possible. The jar is loaded with soapy water and by holding the jar under the leaf the beetle is on, and the lid above, I can snap the two together and scrape the beetle into the jar without touching it. Once in the water they do not appear to be able to get out (though a couple flew away while I tried to capture them so I know they can fly) and quickly drown. Back inside, I poured the jar down the garbage disposal and turned it on.

In thirty minutes, I probably captured 50 or more of them.  Over the next few days, I’ll find out whether these were just the tip of the iceberg, or the majority of them.

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2 thoughts on “Blister Beetles

  1. Pingback: Weeds | Self-Sufficiency and Assorted Hijinks

  2. Pingback: Garden 2014 | Self-Sufficiency and Assorted Hijinks

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