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Blister Beetle - Epicauta funebris

Blister Beetle - Epicauta funebris
Chattahoochee Nat'l Rec Area, Abbots Bridge, Georgia, USA
September 2, 2003

Images of this individual: tag all
Blister Beetle - Epicauta funebris Blister Beetle - Epicauta funebris

Moved from Epicauta funebris.

Epicauta cinerea Group -- probably E. funebris Horn.
John Pinto det.
Moved from Epicauta.

My biggest bug pest!
I have a cut flower business in Washington State, and every August, a drab grey species of Epicauta comes out in hordes to feed on the petals of my asters, dahlias, and others. I've tried controlling them by hand, but they fly in from other areas (they're attracted to light colors and will flock to you if you're wearing white!). They seem to be a very local nuisance, because many friends with flowers in the area report that they've never experienced this. Does anyone have information on this genus' life cycle, so I can look for another, non-pesticide method of control?
S. Gingras

Epicauta blister beetle
This is a species of Epicauta. They are notoriously difficult to identify to species, having many color variations. Photographers, be careful. They secrete a liquid chemical that can cause blistering on human skin, and severe allergic reactions in some people.

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