Probably the hardest lesson I've learned in gardening here is to tolerate the uglies caused by blister beetles.
Our vegetable garden was one of the first gardens we began after moving in during the spring of 2007. Having just spent 6 years in southern Alabama, where tomatoes didn't grow very well, we were aching for some sweet-tart, juicy, home-grown tomatoes - and therefore tomato seedlings were some of the first plants that went in.
Faithfully I protected my tomato plants for several summers this way, culminating in 2011, when we came home from a trip in early June to find several huge masses of Three-Striped Blister Beetles engaged in orgies on our front lawn.
You see, blister beetle young (larvae) burrow through the soil and eat grasshopper eggs. For every adult blister beetle you see, 21-27 grasshopper eggs have NOT grown up into grasshoppers. And those 21-27 grasshoppers that haven't grown up also haven't produced any eggs or young of their own. While blister beetles eat leaves for a few weeks and make them look pretty ugly while they are munching, they don't generally eat a wide variety of plants and they don't even defoliate the ones they do lunch on. Grasshoppers, on the other hand, will eat almost anything, including bark, and they will eat it all down to nubs. The photo below shows what they did to our (shrub) althea one summer.....
Blister beetles have now become almost a sacred animal around here. I welcome them to the yard when I see them, and I mentally encourage them to munch for a while. Happily, I've been seeing a few more blister beetles each year. I still don't see three-striped ones, though.