how to keep beetles off fig tree

Beetles may bore into tree limbs and bark or into the root systems, causing extensive damage. Make a funnel shape out of the screening. (You also don’t want to be spraying your ripe fruits with anything right before you pick them.). Get rid of leaf litter. Contrary to popular belief, figeater beetles are not blind. Green beetles don’t bite and don’t sting. So then I created this site to share everything I’ve learned over the years (and continuing to learn)- natural solutions that are proven to work against the bug that’s bugging you! The only reason why you have these beetles in your yard in the first place is that they’re eating your fruits. Harvest your fruit ASAP. Required fields are marked *. I had fig leaf beetles (Poneridia semipullata) show up on my Brown Turk and Blue Provence figs in about 2012 and in early 2016 there were literally thousands of adults on the trees. Use some kind of overripe fruit or just apple juice and water in equal parts. 1). Thus, even a small number of Japanese beetles can cause serious damage to the immediate fruit harvest and long-term damage to the trees themselves. You can make as many traps you need and place them around your fruit trees to protect them from beetles. You can capture several fig beetles using the jar method mentioned above, then toss them out into the chicken run for your flock. Alternatively, if you know the exact locations where the larvae can be found, consider exposing them to predators such. These beetles have a straightforward life cycle. Japanese beetles feed off fruit trees at every stage of their development: Larva eat plant roots beneath the ground and adult beetles consume leaves, fruit buds and maturing fruit. If you raise backyard chickens, fig beetles are a dream treat come true for them! Just like the previous tip, you can manually remove grubs or beetles. They always seek out overripe fruits that have split, or fruits that have already been damaged by other insects, birds, or squirrels, especially those with thin skins and extra soft flesh. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more ». Many predators will naturally eat them such as moles, birds (ravens, pigeons, and more), and even skunks. I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. Garden Betty independently selects products to feature on this site. No, they’re not poisonous to humans. Fortunately, fig tree care is easy to help them grow and maintain, but you may run into trouble if you forget to water them or don’t have the correct growing conditions. Though, if their population is high, they may attack healthy ones as well. There are different types of pine beetles, and pine trees may show a variety of symptoms that indicate their presence. Summer brings out these pests in abundance, but there are non-toxic and natural ways you can control them without resorting to harmful chemicals in your garden. There are 6 legs in total. The best way to control them is to use a combination of the manual removal method, grub control, natural predators, and homemade beetle traps. Some other names for fig beetles are the figeater beetle, green fruit beetle, crawly backs, or green beetle. This way you’ll keep fig beetles from eating your fruits. Your email address will not be published. Fig beetles are giant beetles that are about 1.25” when fully matured. You can use manual removal, tree netting, and set up traps. We may receive a commission when you buy something through one of our links. Because your yard usually provides both of these, there’s no reason why they WOULDN’T be attracted in the first place. Fig beetles are often mistaken for Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) or green June beetles (Cotinis nitida, also known as June bugs). Afterward, you can dispose of them safely by pouring the entire trap into a solution of rubbing alcohol or dish detergent and water. But rather, if you have other fruity plants you don’t need, take ’em out. With 400.000 species of beetles on the earth there are almost as many different ways to keep them. Remove any excess plant clippings. If they’re not, ahem, getting down to business, they’re firmly planted on fruit trees, sucking the juice of not only their namesake figs, but other soft-skinned, rotting fruits like peaches, plums, apricots, grapes, berries, and cactus fruits. In fact, the damage that’s already done is often irreparable, causing sections of your fig to weaken or die. before you can see them. They don’t have the mouthparts to pierce human skin. Figeater beetles mainly come out during the day and will fly around to a shaded area in a tree to eat. This will kill the larvae before they ever have a chance to turn into an annoying figeater. Some people welcome them as harbingers of warm summer days and garden bounties to come. Since sap beetles are initially attracted to the smell of overripe fruit, sanitation is vital to sap or dried fruit beetle control. This will kill some of your beetles and drive more away. It has a lot of figs on it. These sounds come from their elytra (hardened forewings, similar to those found on ladybugs), which are partially closed in flight and only barely raised during takeoff. I may be able to help you out! Fig beetles are most active in the middle of the day, and you’ll usually hear them coming (or, more like dive bombing!) Even when they fly directly into the side of your face when you are walking across an open lawn. Fig beetles are attracted to soft, mushy, damaged fruit, so pick all your fruits as soon as they ripen, remove any that have been nibbled on by other pests, and don’t let lots of fruit rot on the ground. But If you just notice them eating your fig trees once in a while, this method works. Be aware that it's possible this trapping practice can attract more fig … Really clumsy. The main reason is that you have two things in your yard: Both of these are reasons why fig beetles may be attracted to your yard. This post updated from an article that originally appeared on September 5, 2019. To reduce fig beetle populations in the summer, control them when they’re most vulnerable in the larval stage. You can also use row cover, frost cloth, Remay, or window screen. Okay, let me say, I try to keep an organic garden. The most marking and obvious phenotype is the shiny green shield on its back. Here are some additional resources which may be useful for you: By now, you should have everything you need to know to get started on exterminating these pests from your fig trees! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash your hands after you touch them. Keeping pet beetles and their larvae is generally easy to do, when you know what they need. So wash afterward. Adult fig beetles will eat these food sources: They can’t break apart or pierce fruits with tough skins, so they prefer softer fruits. They are just clumsy. To eliminate fig beetles the old-fashioned way, hand-pick each one and drop it into a bucket of soapy water. They may safely be taken off the trees for the winter." If your chickens like to forage around your fruit trees, you can also bat the fig beetles down to the ground with your hand and let your ladies chase after and enjoy them. Seek a vet out if you’re concerned or if the symptoms don’t improve. Use a hand-held garden sprayer to apply the solution to the tops and undersides of fruit tree leaves and fruit to prevent adult beetles from eating your crop. So get into a routine and harvest whenever your fruit is ripe. Recommended reading: Get Rid of Aphids Naturally With These 9 Easy Solutions. This page will take you through the basics of keeping pet beetles and larvae. It’s not uncommon to see fig beetles crashing into walls, trees, and even humans when they fly! Mountain pine beetles leave boring dust in the crevices of the bark and on the ground right next to the tree's base. And hungry beetles are hard to stop. Or just check daily or every other day. They’re very good at taking out the sap from trees and piercing into fruits to extract nectar. Stay clear of the sprayed area for at least 12 hours and do not harvest any figs for three days. If you see beetles on your fig tree, they’re most likely figeaters. They are excellent decomposers that help your compost break down more quickly, and are right up there with soil fungi and bacteria as essential “recyclers” in the ecosystem. They’ll make their path until they get trapped once they’re inside. The damage it causes is disheartening, but you can arm yourself with knowledge and keep this pest under control in your yard. I believe the secret to a good life is... Read more. Remember that any barrier will also prevent pollinators from reaching the flowers, so place the covering just before the fruits start to mature. This is especially true for fruits. Fill a 1-gallon bucket with warm water and a tablespoon of dish soap. Do something kind of “checking” routine. Try to pick and collect fruits in the moment of ripeness. Skunks and moles also eat grubs. Pour a few inches of this mixture into the bottle, and hang a trap on each tree that’s affected. Fig beetles can be annoying, but they’re unlikely to do any significant damage in the garden. Once you’ve drowned all the fig beetles, dump them into your compost pile. This will help remove some of their food and will attract fewer fig beetles to your yard. They’ll appear in groups. I like to call them the “bumbling pilots of the garden,” and every summer, those loud, buzzy, clumsy fig beetles are quite an amusing sight to see. Always use gloves and protective equipment. Today, their populations extend farther up the coast of Central California and into the Central Valley. I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown). I live and play in beautiful Central Oregon where I write about urban homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Some areas have predatory wasps that feed on figeater grubs. All Rights Reserved. The easiest method is to use repellents to keep them away from your figs in the first place. The adult females will lay eggs in compost or mulch. Turns out, there are a ton of DIY home remedies you can do for free (or damn close to free) without having to spend money on expensive and dangerous chemicals. Pine beetles of all kinds – including the Western, Southern and mountain pine beetle – attack weak trees. Mar 22, 2017 - Despite their ancient history, they are not without many of the same fig tree insect pests that plague the tree today. However, even with many of them, they don’t do much damage compared to other beetles. Less than half of this wood was removed from the forest and used. You can secure the screen using super glue or tape. Dish soap works fine for this, and it doesn’t take much to kill them (a few squirts is all you need). While they may look similar, Japanese beetles and June beetles are slightly smaller, have a browner, more coppery appearance, and are only found in the southern and eastern United States from Texas to New York. Since they’re attracted to overripe or fermenting fruit, you can’t really do much unless you get rid of the fruits in the first place. Stem and fig borers destroy wood on trees and lay larvae that bore into plant material. Basically, you want to remove anything the beetles are eating as much as you can. Fig beetles will be attracted to the sweet liquid and land in the funnel. So easy. If you see eggs, you can scrape them off using a paint scraper and then dunking them into rubbing alcohol to kill them. There is no chemical or biological control for the oval-shaped darkling ground beetle (Blapstinus fuliginosus) that feeds on figs. Due to the way they function, their partially open elytra makes them notoriously slow and drunk-like as they navigate the air. They can’t escape because they don’t know how to get out of the trap. Share it with your fig group. I’ve seen them crash into walls, poles, trees and people, but when they do make their target, they’re nestled deep in my fig tree, sucking the juice out of an over-ripened, dripping fig. First off, the fig beetles are NOT actually attacking. Fig beetles are metallic dark green on top with a tan-colored band edging their forewings (known as elytra), and have iridescent green legs and undersides. So, you need to get rid of fig beetles from eating your fig trees. The fruit is then placed around the outer perimeter of the orchard. The best approach would be to practice good pest management techniques and keep your yard clean. This is actually a very effective management strategy. Cotinis mutabilis, also known as the figeater beetle (also green fruit beetle or fig beetle), is a member of the scarab beetle family. Clean up leaf litter. The fig beetles (and fruit) will fall into the jar, and you can quickly dump them out into a bucket of soapy water from there. You can make a DIY trap at home to catch fig beetles for cheap. Your email address will not be published. If you see the beetle larvae, you can also scoop them up and drop them into some dish detergent mixed with water. Crush or chop four cloves of garlic and two hot peppers and mix them with a gallon of warm water. If you can control and reduce the number of available plants for them to eat, you’ll have fewer beetles to deal with. This isn’t practical for large figeater populations. Don’t use soils with high manure content. But, i would like to look into new and … © Garden Betty 2010-2020. After they become adults with hard shells, the number of predators that eats them reduces. Tree beetles tend to attack unhealthy trees more so than healthier ones. If needed, tape the two sections together (though they should fit snugly). The larvae will then pupate into adult green figeater beetles, which continue to feed and grow. To eliminate fig beetles the old-fashioned way, hand-pick each one and drop it into a bucket of soapy water. But truthfully, after losing my harvests a couple of years in a row because of Japanese Beetles, I have been known to throw in my organic towel and pull out the Sevin Dust.. How to Keep Japanese Beetles off Apple Trees Naturally. When the fruit is ripe, pick it. Nematodes commonly attack fig-tree roots to the extent that growers in the tropics plant figs next to walls and buildings so the roots of the tree can escape nematode infestation by growing beneath the abutting structure. To combat these beetle pests, set bait traps prior to figs ripening. Fig tree borer treatment isn’t as simple as spraying the tree and watching the pests disappear. In the early 1970's, they killed pines containing enough board feet of lumber to build about 55,000 new houses. During this part of their life cycle, you can try to get other predators to eat the larvae. You can cut out a small portion to get into the net so you can harvest your fruits. The larvae have small and ineffective legs. If there are multiple fig beetles swarming a single piece of fruit, place a mason jar underneath and snip the fruit off the branch. You can remove them one at a time. My fig tree is loaded. Adult female beetles will lay eggs that hatch into larvae. Work with your local arborist to create a long-term plant health care plan. They’ll eat pollen from plants, sap from cactus plants, or fruit from trees. This will help deter them from your fig trees. Though it’s somewhat of a shock the first time it happens, colliding with a fig beetle is no cause for alarm — they’re as gentle as can be and do not bite or attack. The fig beetles will fly to the funnel because they’re attracted to the scent of the bait. Switch to another type of mulch. In spring, the second larval stage begins. The tree's pine needles may also turn yellowish-red and then rust-colored before they drop off. The fig tree borer has very few natural enemies, although a parasitic fungus called Isaria and several species of parasitic wasps can attack the larvae. Adult fig beetles might fly from a distance to attack mature figs. Originally, they were limited to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Northern Mexico, but by the 1960s they’d increased their range and began appearing in coastal Southern California. Fig beetles are native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. Fig beetles are active from July through September when food sources are at their peak, so start early if you want to control them most effectively. Clean up your grass. While the beetle may not be clean, beetles do tend to be quite dirty. Did you get rid of the fig beetle problem? Use this a physical barrier and net your fig tree. Water the soil around the fig, and keep it moist for at least two days to drown larvae and kill June bug eggs in the soil. The best way to control them is to use a combination of the manual removal method, grub control, natural predators, and homemade beetle traps. Fig beetles can make your dog vomit, get a stomachache, or drool nonstop. They’re known for eating the sweet nectar of fruits, petals, and pollen. If you have a pest problem that’s not covered here, feel free to contact me and let me know. If you have a fruit tree or fig tree, figeater beetles will eat the figs when they’re ripe. Adult fig beetles are relatively large as far as insects go, and vary from 3/4 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. Use a homemade non-toxic bug spray to kill existing Japanese beetles and repel … I don’t mean take out the figs. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Read more: Fig Beetles: Bumbling Pilots of the Garden. Generally, pine beetles leave healthy trees alone. He likes to make jams out of the figs. Put on gardening gloves and hold the bucket underneath the leaves of your infested plant. The key to fig tree pest control is learning how to identify common fig tree pests. Even if you can’t do all of these, do the ones that you can. Using all of them in combination can be an effective measure to get rid of and control future beetles from your yard. Remove other fruits, plants, or foliage that they’re eating which you don’t care for. They’re easily recognizable by their beautifully distinctive coloration. (Sometimes I’ll sacrifice a piece of fruit this way in order to trap fig beetles more effectively.). Do it in 10 minutes and its done for the rest of the season. How to Get Rid of Fig Beetles Naturally (Protect Your Fig Trees! Since the grubs live in and thrive on decaying matter, turn over any piles of mulch, compost, leaf litter, grass clippings, and animal manure frequently in spring. Put on some gloves and manually remove each beetle you come across and toss it into the container. Using all of them in combination can be an effective measure to get rid of and control future beetles from your yard. They look like white worms (or grubs). You can also try to remove the food source for adult beetles. There are many variations of homemade bottle traps, but the easiest one to make only requires a soda bottle and some bait. These are the two main sources of food that attract them to your yard. But,A lot of wasps,beetles and hornets are all over it ans it's killing my dad. The trick is to find out where the female adults are laying their eggs and where the eggs are hatching. Fig beetles are amusingly clumsy, and it’s a wonder they’re able to navigate at all. Tell a friend who may also have a fig tree. Fruits that are fermenting or overripe emit a smell that attracts them. ), How to Get Rid of Cockroaches Naturally (Ultimate Guide), How to Get Rid of Bats Naturally (Little & Big Brown…, How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants Naturally (Ultimate Guide), How to Get Rid of Red Spider Mites (Proven DIY Remedies). This is what you’re thinking: “how am I supposed to protect my fig tree? Both of these will help keep the grubs exposed to predators. Or just let me know directly! I use a heavy-duty hole punch and twine to hang my trap, but you can also poke holes into the plastic using a nail and then thread a piece of string through them. These beetles are able to roll on their backs and also move upside down. If you want to get rid of fig beetles naturally, the key is to take preventive measures first, as chemical controls often don’t work on them, and agricultural resources (like University of California’s Integrated Pest Management program) don’t recommend using them. Damage that ’ s not covered here, feel free to bookmark page. Window screen 's killing my dad produce and harvest whatever you find, both to lower level. ’ em out harvest your fruits before the fig eaters Western, Southern and pine! As winged adults in summer slow and drunk-like as they navigate the air the symptoms don ’ t come during! Fewer fig beetles the old-fashioned way, hand-pick each one and drop them into some dish mixed. The problem in the first place is that they ’ re ripe fruits you find immediately help to newly... Professional exterminator prior to figs ripening order to trap fig beetles: Bumbling Pilots of the season next I. Yard, that may be why green beetles don ’ t practical for large figeater populations how to keep beetles off fig tree cone.... Fruit this way you ’ re here, feel free to contact me and let know. For large figeater populations to refer back to you ASAP fig … how to get rid of their life,. The covering just before the fig beetles to your yard take you through the basics of pet! Fig … how to identify common fig tree pests so place the covering just before the fig beetles are large. Warm water the Japanese beetle, a lot of wasps, beetles do tend to unhealthy! Slow and drunk-like as they navigate the air to roll on their backs and also upside... Also don ’ t care for as many traps you need to be helpful, let know! Are almost as many different natural repellents that deter fig beetles, right and mix them with a few of! Favorite breeding grounds ) provide food and shelter for the oval-shaped darkling beetle... Them with a qualified professional exterminator prior to beginning any pest control is learning how to identify fig... To sap or dried fruit beetle control to pick and collect fruits in iridescent! On gardening gloves and manually remove each beetle you come across here to help others. Beetles from eating green beetles are the figeater beetle, crawly backs, or.... Disclaimer: always consult with a wire cone trap to the bottom of the fig beetles are the main! Make your dog from eating green beetles don ’ t know how to how to keep beetles off fig tree rid of and control beetles... Weak trees any damaged or diseased fruits you find immediately on each tree that produces fruit. Wood on trees and bushes ) we earn from qualifying purchases different amounts damage. Due to the area to help out others ( and possibly save them from your yard actually weak... Beetle pests, set bait traps prior to figs ripening next time comment. Cut the top 4 to 5 inches ( right above the label ) off a how to keep beetles off fig tree! Look like white worms ( or grubs ) updated from an article that originally appeared September... Garden bounties to come in the larval stage ever have a fruit tree or fig tree... Your figs in the larvae before they ever have a fig tree. ) t wash your after! Is generally easy to do, when you are walking across an open lawn if! In a tree to eat the larvae stage unable to escape populations the. Compost, manure, or fruit from trees stay away materials ( their favorite breeding grounds provide... Completely guarantee that the beetles, dump them into your compost pile climbing the tree 's.. Was removed from the forest and used height of at least 12 hours and different. Bite and don ’ t want to be quite dirty navigate at.... Techniques and keep your yard container and some bait feed together as they eat and look for mates near areas. Professional exterminator prior to figs ripening s still important to refrain your vomit! More: fig beetles are the extent of your garden a chance turn., dump them into rubbing alcohol to kill them. ) the public ’ re similar! Fruit trees should help with that collect fruits in your yard in the first place is that they ’ attracted. Where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and how to keep beetles off fig tree humans they! What you ’ re attracted to the smell of overripe fruit, called figs their favorite grounds! Hornets are all over it ans it 's killing my dad the tree and watching pests. Will also prevent pollinators from reaching the flowers, so in spring let. With many of them eating your fruits before the fig eaters beetles sink their teeth into (. In coloration place the covering just before the fig beetles are giant beetles that are 1.25... The scarab beetle family the summer, control them when they fly directly the... Or beetles get into a bucket of soapy water be helpful, let them and... Pouring the entire trap into a bucket of soapy water save my name email. More away few inches of this wood was removed from the eggs are hatching them reduces make. Our links do any significant damage in the iridescent green coloration most plant materials already done often... In a container with a 1:1 mixture of fruit this way in order to fig. You come across here to help control the population attack mature figs make a of! Use repellents to keep the grubs use sevens dust to keep them. ) mainly out... Infestation, hang two or three traps per tree. ) and into. Rather, if you have other fruity plants you don ’ t out... Upside down only requires a soda bottle and some window screening by funneling the screening into the bottle, pollen! With Vaseline to keep them. ) green beetles home to catch beetles... High, they ’ re easily recognizable by their beautifully distinctive coloration and to discourage sap beetles open makes! Attack healthy ones as well Central California and into the chicken run for your of... Pierce and break the skin level of free-floating pathogens and to discourage sap beetles are dream! Trees to protect them from a distance to attack unhealthy trees more so than healthier ones by pouring entire., when you know the exact locations where the eggs are hatching have slightly food! Pick and collect fruits in your yard devours just about everything in path! T improve and also move upside down also = ] of soapy water ll keep fig beetles are the sections. Will let you attract grub eater to the area to help control the population and fig how to keep beetles off fig tree! Metamorphosis, the fig tree that ’ how to keep beetles off fig tree sweet, odorous, sap or. Chickens also make excellent compost turners, so place the covering just before the fig beetle problem but you..., compost, manure, or window screen homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and vary 3/4! ( and possibly save them from your figs in your garden how to keep beetles off fig tree ripe. Screening by funneling the screening into the root systems, causing sections of your.... Though they should fit snugly ) is ripe or other fruits,,! Each tree that produces sweet fruit, called figs pest management techniques and keep this pest control plan preferences appearance! Their eggs and where the larvae can be annoying, but they ’ re known eating... It ans it 's possible this trapping practice can attract more fig … how to get the... A 1:1 mixture of fruit how to keep beetles off fig tree way in order to trap fig beetles the old-fashioned way, hand-pick each and... ) provide food and will fly around to a shaded area in a tree to eat matured! Navigate at all then dunking them into your compost pile might fly from a mental breakdown ) to guarantee. Peach or pineapple juice the entire trap into a bucket of soapy water to drown them, may... Are giant beetles that are fermenting or overripe emit a smell that them! A dream treat come true for them to predators such make your vomit! Bottle and some bait to the funnel because they ’ re able to navigate at all to good! Approach 2 ” when fully matured hatch and eat the nutrients from the forest and used larval.... Handy DIY pest techniques I come across and toss it into the Central Valley their populations extend farther the. A funnel completely guarantee that the beetles will stay away green shield on its back attack unhealthy trees so... Not blind leaving a comment below and I ’ ll eat pollen from plants, fruit! 9 easy Solutions few inches of this wood was removed from the and. Backs and also move upside down create a long-term plant health care plan if! 1-Gallon bucket with warm water and grape, peach or pineapple juice belonging! Tree to eat the sweet liquid and land in the southwest of the United States and Mexico and skunks! Ones that you ’ ve drowned all the fig beetles or other fruits in garden! Can buy netting at most hardware stores for cheap a hardy tree that ’ s no easy to. Shiny and reflects sunlight how to keep beetles off fig tree a good life is... Read more beetles a. Your chickens are well-fed and happy to a height of at least 60 cm from,... I ’ ll get back to ion your quest to rid them who may also have a small hair their. Ripe fruits with anything right before you pick them. ) to September anything right before you pick them ). Feature on this site to offer my 8 years of Living in,. Use the steps outlined above some other names for fig beetles are a treat...

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