–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting
Blister beetles are aggregating in many different fields throughout north central Kansas. These swarms are causing much concern. Blister beetles can be controlled, if needed, however they usually do not cause widespread defoliation field-wide. They normally aggregate in large numbers in localized areas for a week to 10 days. These swarms can occur in soybean fields (see photo), alfalfa fields, and/or on pigweeds adjacent to these fields (see photo). These swarms will soon disperse so the females can start ovipositing and thus will not cause as much concern in crop fields.