- Pigeon Pea & Red Gram

Pigeon Pea & Red Gram Pigeon Pea & Red Gram

Blister Beetle


Mylabris pustulata

In a Nutshell

  • Beetles damage flowers by feeding on petals.
  • Stigma and ovary are damaged.
  • Absence of pod formation.


The adult blister beetle primarily feeds on flowers. Feeding damage can also be found on tender leaves and shoots. The beetles often attack beans in swarms but generally in small patches within the field. They usually do not continue feeding for long before moving elsewhere.

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Damage is caused by the adult blister beetle which primarily feed on flowers and have minimal economic importance. The adults may also feed on soybean flowers, young pods or tender stems although these parts are not commonly injured. The adult blister beetles have heads broader than their neck regions and they have moderately long antennae and legs. The margined blister beetle is black, gray or a mixture of both while the stripped blister beetle is orange with dark stripes.

Organic Control

Keep the range and number of beetles down by spreading datomaceous earth around threatened plants. Keep species like Pigweed (Amaranthus spp.), Ironweed (Veronia spp.), and ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) out of your farmland as they are highly attractive to blister beetles. Sprays containing spinosad, an OMRI listed biopesticide is able to kill the beetles between 24 to 48 hours.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. Some universities recommended products based on indoxacarb and deltamethrin.

Preventive Measures

  • Avoid infestation, monitor and treat crops carefully once beetles are thought to be present.
  • Protect your plants with row covers.
  • Control the beetles by collecting them in a bucket of soapy or kerosenized water with a stick (Avoid touching them at all cost).
  • Lay out Oyster lime shell at the start of each growing season to prevent beetles from targeting your field.

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