What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Striped Blister Bug or something else?
Location: Greenleaf, WI
July 4, 2012 12:42 pm
Seems each year my garden shows me a new bug. Last year was the invastion of squash bugs, this year the attached mystery bug, photo taken today, July 4th. Doing some searching, I’m thinking it may be a striped blister bug, but not sure. Similar images I’ve found don’t include Wisconsin as their zone, so that’s what makes me unsure of the identification. Seems to be eating my potato plants, but if it is a blister bug, I don’t know how much I want to handle them to attempt to pick them off like I usually handle potato bugs. Otherwise, what might help discourage their presence?
Signature: J Schmidt

Striped Blister Beetles

Dear J Schmidt,
First we want to commend you on identifying your Striped Blister Beetles,
Epicauta vittata, but we would like to point out that they are beetles, not true bugs.  You can read more about them on BugGuide, which lists an alternate common name, Old-Fashioned Potato Bug, which supports your observation that they are eating your potato plant leaves.  Also it is worth noting that BugGuide has reports from Wisconsin.  In the lower left corner of your photo is a grasshopper, and grasshoppers feed on leaves as well.  Many Blister Beetles feed on the eggs of grasshoppers as larvae, so Blister Beetles help keep the grasshopper population in check.  You might have a bigger problem if you eliminate the Striped Blister Beetles. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Wisconsin

2 Responses to Striped Blister Beetle

  1. Crystal Books says:

    I just moved in to a brand new house a week ago today and have tons of them crawling around the front of my house a now in my garage.I have small children. Can you please tell me the best way to get rid of them!!

    • bugman says:

      We can only read the first few words of you comment so we don’t know if you have a question. Sorry about the technical difficulty.

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