Sugar beet-Blister beetle

Epicauta spp. and others

Pest description and crop damage Gray, black, spotted, or striped beetles 0.5 to 1 inch long, with conspicuous necks and soft, rounded wing covers that leave the tip of the abdomen exposed. Larvae are beneficial predators of grasshopper eggs; damaging populations of leaf-feeding adult blister beetles are most likely where sugar beet fields immediately border grasshopper breeding areas. Blister beetles sometimes swarm quickly into sugar beet fields, rapidly defoliate plants along field edges, and then quickly depart.

Scouting and thresholds No formal economic thresholds exist for blister beetle insecticide treatment decisions. They seldom are an economic problem.

Management-chemical control

  • azadirachtin + pyrethrins (Azera) at 0.0125 to 0.025 lb ai/a, and up to 0.044 lb ai/a under extremely heavy infestation. Dilution in a minimum of 30 gal of water per acre is recommended for conventional equipment. May be applied by air at the rate of 0.0125 to 0.025 lb ai/a in a minimum of 25 gal of water. Do not repeat more than every 5-7 days. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • pyrethrins (Lynx EC 1.4, Lynx EC 5.0, PyGanic EC 1.4, Tersus)-See label for rates. REI 12 hr. PHI 0 days. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide (Evergreen Crop Protection EC 60-6, Pyrenone, Pyronyl Crop Spray, and others)-See label for rates.
  • zeta-cypermethrin-
    • (Mustang) at 0.028 to 0.05 lb ai/a. PHI 50 days. Do not apply more than 0.15 lb ai/a per season (at planting + foliar applications). Apply with ground or air equipment using enough water to fully cover foliage.
    • (Mustang Maxx) at 0.014 to 0.025 lb ai/a. 50 day PHI for tops or roots. Do not apply more than 0.075 lb ai/a per season. REI 12 hr. Apply by air or ground using minimum of 2 gal per acre by air and 10 gal per acre by ground.