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Fig Beetles

Ever hear of a fig beetle? Maybe you’ve heard them called as June beetles. If you’re a gardener, you are no stranger to the fig beetle. They are large beetles that are metallic green in color and eat corn, the petals of flowers and soft skinned fruits. Some of their favorite fruits are grapes, tomatoes, plums, peaches and of course, figs.

Now many people may think these beetles are attractive. Yes, the metallic green color is stunning. But after dealing with the clumsy flight attempts and loud buzzing, they soon wear out their welcome.  When you have a large group of these beetles, the damage they can do to your garden and lawn can be serious. Fig beetles lay their eggs beneath the soil, about 6 inches. It only takes about 2 weeks until those little buggers hatch, work their way to the surface and commence munching on your lawn. It’s the adult fig beetles that just love the ripe fruit.

Now if you want to rid yourself of these beetles, you can start by irrigating your lawn. Really irrigating it, a lot. Flood irrigation is effective due to the fact that the grubs can’t survive in that kind of wet soil. You can also sift through any compost piles you have to remove fig beetle larvae. These tactics work for getting rid of the youngsters, but what about the adult fig beetles? Since they are attracted to ripe fruit, pick the fruit as soon as you notice it is ripe. There are some people who will leave one or two pieces of overly ripe, rotting fruit in place to attract the beetles and trap them. Once they are on the fruit, just knock them into a container and close it and toss it.

It normally isn’t recommended to use pesticides to get rid of fig beetles. The only time it may be appropriate is if there is an infestation of the beetle. When this happens, it is recommended to use a pesticide in the fall. There are some who recommend that soaking over ripe fruit with a pesticide and placing them in a ring outside the orchard works. This keeps the beetles from entering the orchard and destroying the rest of the crop. One other way to keep the fig beetle population down is to have some chickens. To a chicken, the fig beetle is a delicacy.

17 Mar

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