NDSU Extension - Burke County

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Blister Beetles in Field Crops & Using Flea Beetles for Leafy Spurge Control

County Agent News
Dan Folske
July 15, 2019 

BLISTER BEETLES IN FIELD CROPS

Ash gray blister beetles, Epicauta fabricii, have been reported in canola, soybean and alfalfa fields in central, northwest and north central areas of ND. Adult blister Ash Grey Blister Beetlebeetles can be an occasional pest causing defoliation to the leaves and clipping flowers or pods. In canola, they are attracted to blooming canola fields for its nectar and pollen, but they also devour leaves, flowers and pods. Blister beetles are a major problem in alfalfa / hay fields or in bales, since they produce a toxic chemical (cantharidin), which is toxic to livestock, especially horses. Larvae of Epicauta species actively prey on grasshopper egg pods.

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