Bolivian Blister Beetle, Epicauta pardalis?
February 13, 2010
These blister beetles are destroying hot pepper harvests here by cutting off the immature peppers and flowers. The closest thing I can come up with is Epicauta pardalis, the spotted blister beetle but I am not sure without a good guide or key. I would like to identify it so I can help the people I work with repel it. I’m thinking of maybe a Neem spray. Know of any good way to repel blister beetles? We are in late summer/rainy season here.
San Jose, Bolivia
We doubt that this is Epicauta pardalis, a species represented on BugGuide by individuals from Arizona, but it does appear to be the genus Epicauta. We believe it resembles Epicauta maculata more, which you can verify on BugGuide, but we are uncertain if Epicauta maculata is found in South America. Alas, we do not give extermination advice. If it is any comfort, Blister Beetles tend to appear in great numbers for a very short period of time, so your problem may alleviate itself naturally in a short time.
Thanks for the help, Epicauta maculata seems more acurate. I prefer to repel pests or find natural solutions rather than extermination. I’ll probably experiment with a Neem leaf “tea” to repel them, if they haven’t moved on already by now. Thanks for the help!