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One bad bug we have here in the AZ high desert is blister beetles. They are very destructive. Most of the time coming through in a swarm and destroys all plants in it’s path. Thankfully they are not numerous like clouds of locust. For us it’s mostly a few hundred or a thousand. Being they are caustic it’s difficult to handle them. And since they are in the beetle stage many safe pest controls (insecticide soap, BT, sevin) do not faze them.. Do you have any tips on how to deal with these unwanted visitors?

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  1. Attracting birds to your garden definitely helps. But one highly effective method is to grow calendula, also known as pot marigold. This daisylike flower is not only a colorful addition to any garden, it is also a great trap crop for blister beetles. The beetles converge on the flowers by the hundreds. When I had these beetles in my garden, I would go out every morning with gloved hand and simply flick them off the calendula and into a plastic gallon jug and put the lid back on--they die of course. I called it my bug bucket. You can also flick them into a bucket of soapy water, but the gallon jug with lid is so much easier. And the beetles don't fly off--it's easy pickins' as they say!

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