holistic approach to blister beetles?

nan and stewart stewart at watervalley.net
Mon Aug 21 06:46:29 EDT 2000

Blister beetles have overrun my organic market garden (northwest mississippi) just this month - i am not in depair as i know the soil is still being brought into health (earthworms, microbes, etc.) but in the meantime, what are these blister beetles symptomatic of, if anything special?

i know i can apply various organic pesticides (but i hate to use pyrethrin/rotenone unless absolutely necessary), but are there natural enemies i can encourage to bring about a balance here....my rodale guide says to grow under floating row covers, and I know that these guys also eat grasshopper eggs (of which we have a gazillion here)....the advice is to knock them off th plant with soapy water, but they come back pretty quickly and have decimated the plants.

thanks for any thoughts!

dancing goats farm
water valley,  ms

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