The adult beetles are small (1/8 inch), slender, black beetles with dull yellow wing bands. The larvae are white, short-legged grubs. They are especially attracted to overripe, broken, fermenting, and dried fruits, and are common in orchards, drying sheds, and on fruit trays. The adults lay their eggs on ripe and rotting fruits of all types. They may also infest grapes before they have been completely dried and made into raisins. Fig varieties that have large "eyes" (openings at the blossom ends of fruits) are most affected; fig varieties such as 'Mission' and 'Tina' have small eyes, and are less infested by the beetles.
A complete life cycle of the dried fruit beetle may vary from a minimum of 15 days in the summer to several months in the winter. In winter, both adults and larvae survive in decaying cull fruit of any kind. The pupae generally overwinter in the soil.
Sanitation is the best way of controlling dried fruit beetles. Eliminate potential breeding sites by harvesting ripe fruit promptly and picking up fallen fruit as soon as possible. Keep cull fruit in tight garbage cans or garbage bags until disposed of. If you dry fruit, you should thoroughly clean your drying trays after each use.
You may want to try trapping to reduce dried fruit beetle infestations. To do this, place several overripe peaches in a bucket, then coat the insides of the bucket with 90-weight oil, Tanglefoot, or a similar sticky material. Once the buckets are hanging in the tree, the fermenting peaches attract the beetles, and they become trapped in the sticky material. This method will give you partial control only.
Ed Perry is the emeritus Environmental Horticultural Advisor for University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in Stanislaus County where he worked for over 30 years.
- Author: Anne E Schellman
Why Not Move Firewood?
By bringing wood from home, you can unknowingly spread invasive pests and diseases that can harm trees. This includes dry, aged, and seasoned wood. Once you arrive at your destination, pests can emerge from the firewood and spread to the trees and forests where you camp. Invasive and hard-to-control pests kill several million native trees every year, causing environmental and economic problems.
Did you Know?
New infestations of tree-killing insects and diseases are often found in campgrounds and parks as a result of campers moving firewood.
This trip, tell your friends and family why you aren't bringing firewood. For more information about firewood pests and resources for finding good firewood, visit the Don't Move Firewood web site. To learn about many of the invasive wood-boring pests and associated diseases and problems, visit the UC IPM web site./h4>/h4>
- Author: Elaine Lander
While you are outside gardening or inside doing your spring cleaning, you may have recently found small, round, speckled beetles you've never seen before. We've had several questions this past week about insects crawling around windowsills, found on screens, or noticed on outdoor plants, or fuzzy, oblong insects on carpets or rugs. What are they? While there are many insects starting to emerge from their winter rest, if you are finding small beetles like these, they could be carpet beetles!
Carpet beetles are pests of homes, warehouses, and museums. In California, there are 3 species that damage fabrics, carpets, and stored foods including the varied carpet beetle, Anthrenus verbasci. The beetles are round like lady beetles (“ladybugs”), but much smaller in size. Varied carpet beetles are about 1/10 inch long, with black, white, brown and dark yellow patterns.
Carpet beetles adults feed on pollen and nectar of flowers. They often fly into homes from flowers in the landscape or may be accidentally brought indoors on cut flowers. A few adult beetles inside your home are typically not a problem. However, if you find larvae, the fuzzy immature beetles on fabric, carpet, or other natural materials in your home, you may need to manage the infestation.
See the UC IPM Pest Notes: Carpet Beetles for more identification, prevention, and management information.
Take our Pest Management in Vegetable Gardens class to learn how to identify pests and manage them using less toxic solutions. You'll also learn how to recognize beneficial insects, too.
Where: On Zoom. You will receive a link the morning of the class.
When: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Register at: http://ucanr.edu/vegpests/2021
Instructors: Rho Yare & Anne Schellman
To confirm your plant has hoplia beetles, inspect a flower and you may also spot this culprit (or three) hiding inside. The beetles are small, brown, and their undersides look like they've been dusted in gold. If you hold one in your hand, they will “play dead” and not move so you can examine them.
The best way to manage hoplia beetles is regularly handpicking or shaking them off the flowers into a bucket of soapy water and then disposing of it. This can help reduce beetle populations in the future. You can also fill white, 5-gallon buckets with water and a few drops of detergent. The white color may attract the beetles which will fall into the bucket and drown. Luckily, their populations begin to dwindle by June. You can read more details about these methods in the UC IPM Pest Note: Hoplia Beetles.