Some home gardeners like to use hand picking as a nonchemical method for controlling these large insects. However, wear gloves and use caution because these beetles contain a substance called cantharidin. This chemical is an irritant capable of blistering internal and external body tissues exposed to the chemical. On tender human skin, body fluids of adult blister beetles may cause large, erect, watery blisters.
Chemical control of blister beetles is also possible and may be the only practical method of control if populations are large. Cyfluthrin (BioAdvanced Vegetable and Garden Insect Spray) and permethrin (Bonide Eight and Hi-Yield Lawn, Garden and Farm Insect Control) are recommended. Cyfluthrin and permethrin have a 0 day waiting period on tomatoes. (Ward Upham)