Blister Beetle Activity Expected Anytime In Phoenix & Southern AZ
Also referred to as Spanish flies, these insects were once dried and crushed into a powder that was thought (albeit incorrectly) to have aphrodisiac powers. And that friends, is how we’ll introduce you to the brightly-colored iron cross blister beetle. A common pest problem in our region this time of year, our pest control team is expecting them to show up anytime and we want you to be ready. Read on to learn more about these beetles and how our exterminators can help you prevent these pests from infesting your property.
What are blister beetles?
Iron cross blister beetles, also known as Tegrodera aloga, are a type of blister beetle that belongs to the family Meloidae. These beetles are typically found in the southwestern United States, including Arizona. They can grow up to one inch in length and have a distinctive black and red color pattern on their backs.
There’s a good chance you might see these insects on your property mid to late spring
Here at Northwest Exterminating, we start getting questions about blister beetles mid to late spring as that is when adult beetles emerge – often in large numbers. Iron cross blister beetles will feed on succulent plants and flower petals often found in the yards of our customers.
Where did they come from?
If you’re wondering where they came from, the answer is from the ground. You see, the larval stage is subterranean and while that doesn’t give us a lot to go on, it is thought that they are parasitic in ground-nesting bees or grasshoppers.
Why you don’t want to get up close and personal with iron cross blister beetles
While iron cross blister beetles are interesting to look at, it's important to avoid contact with them. These beetles produce a chemical called cantharidin, which can cause blistering and skin irritation if it comes into contact with human skin. If ingested, this toxin can also cause serious health issues for horses and livestock as well as pets. In fact, the outcome can prove fatal.
Use caution when spending time outdoors when blister beetles are around
To avoid encounters with iron cross blister beetles, it's important to be aware of their presence and take precautions. If you're hiking or spending time in areas where these beetles are known to live, wear long pants and sleeves to protect your skin. Avoid touching the beetles if you come across them, and don't handle any plants or vegetation that they may be attracted to.
Iron cross blister beetle prevention tips
In order to make your property less appealing and to prevent these beetles from find their way indoors, we recommend:
- Reducing or removing potential food sources such as succulent plants or wildflowers
- Keep doors closed when not in use
- Make sure screens do not have any holes or tears
- Seal any gaps or openings on the exterior
How can Northwest Exterminating help prevent blister beetles
Here at Northwest Exterminating, we have a couple of solutions to offer when it comes to preventing blister beetle infestations.
- First, we’d be happy to send out an inspector to assess your property and provide you with weed control options.
- We can also perform an exterior perimeter treatment to stop them from entering your home.
- Finally, our locally operated pest control company offers our Desert Guard exclusion service in Phoenix, Tucson, and throughout Southern Arizona.
For more information about any of our services or if you have questions about blister beetles, please reach out today!
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Northwest Exterminating provides pest control services in the Phoenix-metro and Tucson as well as throughout Southern Arizona that target the pests that are found in our region's unique desert environment. We promise personalized service and state-of-the-art techniques for all your exterminating needs.
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