Black/Red Beetle on corn stalk. What is it?

StephanieHS(8)June 20, 2014

Hi. I found a small black beetle with horizontal red stripes on one of my corn stalks this morning (got away before I could catch him). I searched online and I THINK its a black and red blister beetle.
Any thoughts? And should I wig out and pull out the pesticide?
Seriously, just trying to keep an eye on things, be proactive. Any help much appreciated as always!!! I should add I noticed 2 weeks ago that something was chomping away on the leaves of the corn but that seems to have stopped.

This post was edited by StephanieHS on Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 9:34

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You'll need to post a picture. "Looks like " descriptions aren't usually helpful.

But...seeing ONE of anything should never cause a panic and over reaction. Let's work on getting an ID.

We will need to know your general location, of course.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:21AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

NEVER PULL OUT THE PESTICIDES FOR ONE BUG ... crikey ...

need an ID before you go hog wild ...

the only things your words trigger is box elder bug.. and lightening bug... neither of which are a corn problem.. as far as i know ..

pic please... unless of course.. you already crushed it into a fine powder .. and if so.. show us the powder.. lol.. just kidding...

ken

ps: what is horizontal.. on a bug??? north or south.. or east or west??? ... head to tail ????

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:42AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Good grief, ken. What is wrong with you?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:25PM
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StephanieHS(8)

That was a joke, Ken. I thought that was obvious given I asked if i should wig out. Apparently not. As I said, just trying to be proactive, which is the best way to avoid pesticides in my opinion.

P.S. Horizontal, meaning running across the width of its body as opposed to vertical, running the length of its body.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 3:07PM
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StephanieHS(8)

rhizo_1, thanks for the help. I wasn't able to get a pic but I'm fairly certain it was a blister beetle. I only saw the one but I've heard blister beetles can be difficult to control and usually arrive in large numbers.
I just managed to rid myself of squash bugs on my cucs (knock on wood) by crushing them one by one and not in the mood for another infestation! Hoping to nip it in the bud if you have any experience with blister beetles advice appreciated :)
I'm down south, louisiana btw.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 3:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Stephanie, would it be possible for you to attach a link to the image you saw?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:53PM
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StephanieHS(8)

Ah-ha - got one. It's a spittlebug! Sorry the pic isn't so hot. I found about 4 or 5. I think my husband treated the lawn and they're fleeing to my raised beds. Are they a concern to vegetable gardens?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:07PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Lol....I'm laughing WITH you, Stephanie, not at you. :-) Spittlebugs were the first thing I thought of when you mentioned "black with horizontal stripes ", but you were so intent on it being a blister beetle.

Two-lined spittlebugs (Prosapia bicenata) can be a real problem for southern turfgrasses much more so than other plants. I remember seeing them on hollies, for example, but never a big deal. They can infest corn. You need to search for nymphs.

The control of these particular spittlebugs is a bit tricky. The nymphs, which do most of the damage, hide themselves deep in the lawn...as close to the soil level as possible.

Effective control must include de-thatching (even better to prevent thatch in the first place), hands and knees inspection to make sure that there is a large population of froth covered nymphs deep within the turf. If not, don't treat.

There can be two or three generations produced each year....one will be in the hottest part of the summer. If a search shows that there's a high population of nymphs (not adults), then the grass should be cut a couple of days before treatment.

Control of the two-lined spittlebug needs to be done right, or not at all. Applying pesticides can wreak havok to the ecosystem of the lawn so we've got to get it right.

The reason I'm blathering on about this is that they key to the control of these particular insects is getting rid of a large population of the frothy nymphs....not the adult. Making sure that the lawn isn't infested will likely result in very little problem for your corn or other plants.

Though the striped adult feeds on plants, too, it's the froth covered nymphs that do the most damage.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:07AM
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StephanieHS(8)

LOL! Feel free to laugh AT me, I'm fine with that ;)

I can't tell you many times I've seen one bug or two bugs, thought nothing of it, then gone out the morning and found 2 million (squash bugs and oh my word graveyard bugs). Anyhow, thanks much for your help and all the info! Turns out my husband treated the lawn, says he "kicked up a ton of them." They're seeking sanctuary in my garden. I've found only adults, living and deceased, but no foam spittle stuff, so I guess I shall remain calm....for now ;)

You rock!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:13AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Tell your husband that the Two-lined Spittlebug thrives in lawns where thatch has been allowed to build up. Managing the turf with conservative applications of fertilizer and frequent mowing can help prevent thatch in warm season grasses such as centipede, St. Augustine, and others.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:44PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Tell your husband that the Two-lined Spittlebug thrives in lawns where thatch has been allowed to build up. Managing the turf with conservative applications of fertilizer and frequent mowing can help prevent thatch in warm season grasses such as centipede, St. Augustine, and others.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:51PM
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StephanieHS(8)

I'll tell him - thanks again. Our new home was vacant for quite awhile before we moved in and the lawn was a disaster. It's been difficult to get under control. The dang spittlebugs just a fraction of what we've got going on out there!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 5:09PM
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