You know spring has finally arrived here in Maine when the lupines begin to bloom and the blister beetles (Meloidae family) arrive. I discovered these last night on my nightly excursion to take photos of plants and insects. These blister beetles were a dark gray with a hint of dusky blue, but they can be black or striped. There are approximately 2500 species of blister beetles.
It may interest you to know how the blister beetle got its name. These beetles secrete a substance, called cantharidin that is caustic enough to irritate the skin and mucus membranes and will even cause blistering on your hands if you try to pick them up.
They are often found on lupines just as the buds begin to open, but can infest your garden and devour foliage on your flowers and veggies. Visit my article How to Control Blister Beetles if you have a blister beetle problem and need ideas for how to get rid of them.
This blister beetle prefers the tasty flavor of the lupine blooms. Although they have not made it to the lupines in my garden, yet, these were only a few hundred feet from my flower garden. I will be watching closely for any signs of blister beetles in my flower beds.
I hope you enjoyed the close-up view of blister beetles. Don't forget to visit my article to learn more about how you can get rid of these common garden pests!
Until Next Time . . . HAPPY GARDENING!