- Author: Ben Faber
Black Fig Fly (Diptera: Lonchaeidae: Silba adipata)
Invasive Fig Pest Recently Discovered in Southern California
Fig growers need to be aware of the black fig fly (BFF), an invasive insect that was recently discovered infesting figs in multiple counties in southern California (see map below). The BFF has been reported in the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura. Movement of figs from these counties is strongly discouraged, since it may lead to additional spread of BFF to other areas of the state. University of California Cooperative Extension personnel are currently working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to further delineate populations, as well as develop improved monitoring and management strategies.
Please Do Not Move Figs
California figs are primarily grown in the Central Valley between Merced and Fresno, with many smaller orchards spread along the coast and in southern California. Movement of figs from the infested counties is not recommended, as it may lead to additional artificial spread of BFF to other areas of California.
Reporting the Pest
If you find infested fruit or suspect that BFF may be attacking fruits in your orchard or yard, please contact your local UCCE Farm Advisor and County Agricultural Commissioner. You can also report this pest to CDFA's Pest Hotline: 1-800-491-1899 (https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/reportapest/).
Adult female black fig fly depositing eggs into the fig ostiole (photo: H. Wilson)
Damage to fig from black fig fly larva (Photo: H. Wilson)
While approximately 90% of California fig production is in the Central Valley, infestations have so far been limited to Southern California