There have been a number of reports of green beetles with orange legs in flower gardens. These beetles are ant-like, have soft wing covers and are about ¾ inch in length. This is the Say blister beetle Lytta sayi. They have been found feeding on a variety of flower blossoms, including roses, peonies, irises, and lupines. When they are abundant, they can cause serious damage to plants.
|Say blister beetle close up. Photo: Jeffrey Hahn, UMN Extension|
If Say blister beetles are in your garden, there are several options for their management. Physical removal is a good management method. If there is concern about exposure to cantharidin and blisters, wear gloves to be on the safe side. If you are interested in a low impact insecticide, try spinosad or neem oil. You can also apply pyrethrins; to be effective this insecticide has to directly contact the insects. There is also no residual and it may need to be reapplied.
|Say blister beetles on Addie Tischler peony. |
Photo: Jeffrey Hahn, UMN Extension