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Blister beetles have seven instars and overwinter as mature larvae in the soil. After pupation in the spring, adults begin to emerge in early summer and by midsummer reach their peak population. During summer months blister beetles feed on plant foliage or flowers and mate. Eggs are laid in the soil in groups of 50 to 300 eggs. Ten to 21 days’ later larvae emerge from these eggs and search for their preferred food--grasshopper eggs. As larvae molt and grow their activity decreases. When they reach the fifth instar they move into the soil, molt again, and remain overwinter in the soil as sixth instars.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
February 19, 2016