Flower or blister beetles (Mylabris spp. and Coryna spp.)
These beetles can cause serious damage to cowpeas by feeding on flowers. The adults of the flower beetles, also known as blister beetles, feed on flowers (petals and / or pollen) reducing pod set.
The adults are medium to large sized beetles (2-5cm in length), usually black and yellow or black and red in colour. The immature stages (larvae) do not feed on plants. They live in he soil and eat grasshopper eggs.
- Hand pick and destroy adult beetles to keep the numbers in check. However, care should be taken, since when disturbed, blister beetles can release a liquid that burn the skin. Whenever possible wear gloves to protect the hands.
- Do not destroy the larvae, as they are beneficial (they feed on grasshopper eggs).