Missouri Being Invaded by Blister Beetles, But Don’t Touch Them
As if 2022 needed more challenges, you can now add blister beetles to the list as there are reports they're being reported all over Missouri. While these are bad news for plants and horses especially, you shouldn't touch them.
I saw this shared by The Fence Post based on information from the University of Missouri Extension Service. They report that Pat Miller from the University of Missouri said "Farmers, livestock owners and gardeners across Missouri report that blister beetles are appearing in large numbers this summer". Oh, goodie.
While this isn't good news for gardeners, it's really harmful to horses and livestock. The toxin produced by these bugs can cause them the most damage. If a horse consumes between 30 and 50 of them in their feed, they are considered poisoned.
Why shouldn't you touch a blister beetle?
They release a toxin called cantharidin which can cause blisters, swelling and irritation of the skin which is how they ended with the name blister beetle in the first place.
What to do if you detect that blister beetles are present in your garden? This gardener says that a little dish soap and water do the trick.
While not normally life-threatening to humans, the toxin from blister beetles is something you don't want to experience. Best to contact pros to help you rid yourself of this little striped nuisance.