Blister Beetles...What to do?

paddlehikevaAugust 6, 2008

Help! I have what I think are blister beetles devouring my clematis at an alarming rate. Last year they only stayed for a short while and seemed rather selective in which clematis they ate. They can devour an entire plant in one 24 hour period. They do not bother any other plants except my clematis.

I garden organically and immensely enjoy watching the birds, bees, and butterflies in my gardens. What can I do to get rid of these nasties?

TIA for any advice,


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I feel bad no one is answering your question. I had no idea what a blister beetle was, so I looked it up. What nasty little critters! Be careful! I hope someone that has experience with them can help you!

For others that don't know what they are, see the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blister Beetles

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 7:34PM
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These are actually blister beetles which are specific to clematis. They seem to be active at night, I rarely even see the nasty creatures. As if causing blisters on contact isn't enough, I can't even locate them! It is unbelievable how much damage they can do in a very short period of time.


Here is a link that might be useful: Epicauta cinerea - clematis blister beetle

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 9:07PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Well, my agriculturist/entomology friend said this... don't know how helpful it is, but just in case someone finds it useful:

"Blister beetles can indeed give you a blister, and some of them can eject the blister juice out of their arse at you! I would just put netting over the plant to keep the beetle off. It might not have to be on year-round, but rather only when the beetles arrive."

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 1:53AM
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I had blister beetles on my clematis last year. HORROR! As you know I don't spray, but I made the exception last year. I took a small spray bottle with malathion and hit the entire clematis with it. I feel fairly confident I kept the spray rather local... I didn't want to kill the beneficials nearby. The beetles were gone with one application. I need to go out and check for them today. I had found one a couple weeks ago inside my greenhouse.

I feel your pain.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 7:52AM
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Have had problems also with these,not every year, but last year was terrible.I tried Sevin which did very little. I have not had a problem this year but I'm glad to know that Malithion works.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:37PM
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Hi Robert,

I thought I remembered you having the same issue last year. If I remember correctly, about the same time you posted you had sprayed, mine seemed to disappear as well. I have not seen any additional damage for a few days so hopefully they are gone. I will remember the Malithion for next year. The first time I see the damage, I will spray immediately. If makes me heartsick to see what had been a healthy, floriferous Rooguchi reduced to a skeleton overnight.

Thanks for reminding me of what you did for them.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 8:02AM
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