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  • URGENT PSA For All California Growers

    Recently, greenfig posted about a pest that he found in some figs. A few others posted about seeing the same. I have now found it as well and have contacted the state. They suspect it could be a very troubling pest. ID is Black Fig Fly. Either of which is NOT a good thing and it seems like we have reports from Santa Barbara down to Orange County and possibly farther south.

    The state sent a team of people here today and they have been collecting samples and they asked me to inform everyone about the potential hazard and asked for them to please report any similar findings, as soon as possible, to their local county ag department for sample pickup and testing.

    I returned from Costa Rica a week ago and found a couple of figs the first day back and since then, I have collected over 100 additional affected figs. Not good at all.

    Here are some pics of what I am finding. These larvae can also curl on themselves and spring away, up to 6 feet.

    Here is the original post and there is excellent information there as well.

    https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...inside-my-figs

    UPDATE: Looks like greenfig has confirmed that this IS Black Fig Fly. Please take a look at his, linked post for more details.

    UPDATE 2: This appears to have entered the US through the fresh fig market and that is one of the primary ways it can spread but this is also spread through the soil. The larva fall to the ground and mature there, emerging as the adult BFF. It will be critical to make sure not to spread around potentially contaminated plants.

    UPDATE 3: Great article about the BFF and treatment protocols
    https://givingtrees.co.za/specialist...WPFq_nrlTlwtxA
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Evdurtschi; 06-25-2021, 01:14 PM.
    Eric - Santa Barbara, CA Zone 10a

  • #2
    Good to know! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out here near Fresno. Greenfig was told by the state that they’re rare so hopefully they don’t fly up here.

    I did some reading and, assuming I looked up the right insect, I guess they prefer unripe figs but can infest ripening ones, causing fruit drop. They can over winter under the soil in the pupal stage.

    my source: https://link.springer.com/referencew...06-48380-7_517
    WL: Raspberry Tart & Angelito

    Comment


    • ZomVee
      ZomVee commented
      Editing a comment
      Like was there a specific plant passed around? It could have come from anyone, but have you checked that you all didn't pass something around?

    • SoCalFigs
      SoCalFigs commented
      Editing a comment
      ZomVee I think I might’ve cracked the code….Black Fig Fly (BFF)….Bass’s Favorite Fig (BFF)….best friends forever (BFF)?!?!

      All jokes aside…this seems like a serious problem and hopefully we can get it under control ASAP.
      Last edited by SoCalFigs; 06-24-2021, 04:40 PM.

    • Evdurtschi
      Evdurtschi commented
      Editing a comment
      ZomVee This is not associated with any specific tree. I have found it in quite a few varieties and none of them are new and rare. Raspberry Latte, Golden Rainbow, Panache, Cavaliere....

  • #3
    Have you seen signs of the mature fly on your figs? While I haven't seen it up here, I have read several articles regarding this new threat. It also seems that there are Mediterranean and European versions of this fig fly.

    Comment


    • Evdurtschi
      Evdurtschi commented
      Editing a comment
      I did not know what to look for but, now that I do, I will be inspecting them very closely and will be placing traps and any other control that I can find.

  • #4
    Thank you for the heads up. Haven’t seen any in my neck of the woods just yet but will keep an eye out.
    Evan. Wish list - Any Mario variety
    SoCal - Zone 10a
    YouTube - Fig Reviews & Info

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    • #5
      WUT!

      It's inspect and destroy time
      (\ /)
      ​​​​​​(°¥°)
      [email protected]( _ _ )................

      Comment


      • ZomVee
        ZomVee commented
        Editing a comment
        Didn't see anything wrong here

    • #6
      S.O.B. that sucks royal! I lived through the mass malathion sprayings during the 70's and 80's in So Cal.

      I do not expect there to be a mass public outcry for a solution to a fig pest. We will as a crazy fig loving community need to work together to help get this under control and then keep it controlled...

      Thank you Eric and greenfig for the posts and bringing this to the forefront.
      Last edited by Frankenberry; 06-24-2021, 04:36 PM.
      Sam
      AKA Scubasam
      Arroyo Grande / Central Coast of California, 10a/b, AHS 1

      Comment


      • #7
        Just picked some ripe figs and will take a look. This is disheartening and hopefully can be remedied without drastic measures.

        Comment


        • Evdurtschi
          Evdurtschi commented
          Editing a comment
          The figs will abort far before they are ripe. It will start to "ripen" or "rot" on one part and then it discolors and will eventually drop. If you look close, you will probably find some small holes and I believe those are from the larvae escaping and dropping to the soil to mature. Not good at all

      • #8
        This sucks, but kudos to you all for looking close enough to find it and reporting it. Apparently this pest is found beyond the Mediterranean and is in parts of Mexico and can come into the US in fresh figs. They get irradiated on import, there's an AHPIS report from December on it.
        Joe, Central Bucks, PA Zone 6b/7a

        Comment


        • #9
          Yuck! As if the regular fruit flies aren't bad enough. From the info I've read they lay eggs on very green figs that look to be about 1/3 final size, so it's already too late to protect much of this years crop. I'm hoping this ugly pest will not become a widespread nuisance.
          Conrad, SoCal zone 10
          Wish List: More Land

          Comment


          • #10
            So you guys will now have it from here on out? If you didn't have it before and now wveryone is reporting it, that means it's spreading. Could BT spray work against this bug?
            GA, 7b

            Comment


            • Figbert
              Figbert commented
              Editing a comment
              Timing would be tricky for Bt to work: they need to eat the Bt for it to be effective, and the caterpillars are out of reach while they're in the figs. Maybe a soil drench would work if they munch on roots or fungus for a while before pupating in the dirt? Or make baits with a mix of Bt and fig sap or hexanol to kill the adult flies.

          • #11
            Thanks for the heads up! I thought fruit flies were bad enough and never even knew about this other pest. I’ll check my trees now.

            Simon

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            • #12
              Some initial reading on the subject seems to indicate that they are controlled by insecticides you would use to control SWD. They can complete 4-5 generations in a season. Pretty gross; SWD are bad enough.

              I’ve used spinosad for SWD in currants with a fair degree of success.
              Eric - Seattle / Zone 8b (Sunset Zone 5) - W/L: Bill’s “The One” / Stallion / Sturch, De Tres Esplets, Lampeira Preta, any very early berry fig

              Comment


              • #13
                I'll bet the University of California will work on this, as they support agriculture with their research projects. I'm going to pass this along to Ole Becker if you don't mind, he worked on "root knot nematode and lectures for dragon fruit growers, looks like something that could infest them also. I live in fear of the "fig beetles", we need to get this limited, and need info on possible pre- cautionary treatments ASAP! Thanks Eric and Igor!
                Ellen
                Valley Center, Ca 9b
                Rancho Los Serranos Organic Farm

                Comment


                • Hansuld
                  Hansuld commented
                  Editing a comment
                  With Fig Beatles do you mean Cetonias? Those Esmerald Green Jewel Beatles?

                • Figland
                  Figland commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hansuld yes but there are actually some native California beetles that go after rotting fruit also, so its both the green beetles and some other types. Apparently good sanitation ( picking up and disposing of the damaged fruit) is important in managing them.

              • #14
                Wondwr if we can get this stickied for a while?

                I've found a couple trees around town, but haven't noticed anything like this from Allied Gardens to LA Mesa, but I wasn't looking for it either.
                (\ /)
                ​​​​​​(°¥°)
                [email protected]( _ _ )................

                Comment


                • #15
                  It WAS kind of comical when I had to show them my entire collection here at work... 😂 You could tell they weren’t ready for that.
                  Eric - Santa Barbara, CA Zone 10a

                  Comment


                  • Mr.Figs
                    Mr.Figs commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Lol!! They left there knowing what "Figlandia" means. Hahaha!!

                  • JT1923
                    JT1923 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I love this so much. You know you're doing it right when they have to call for backup.

                  • cvarcher
                    cvarcher commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hmmmm !! What gave you that idea?

                • #16
                  I added my traps (see the pics in https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...inside-my-figs ).
                  I hope to find out how many I catch in a day or a week.
                  Please note that based on the published info, the BFF is attracted to all figs including Caprifigs
                  USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

                  Comment


                  • Figland
                    Figland commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hey greenfig how is the trapping going? Do you have a bait recipe that works for you?

                • #17
                  Originally posted by Evdurtschi View Post
                  It WAS kind of comical when I had to show them my entire collection here at work... 😂 You could tell they weren’t ready for that.
                  I can imagine, they probably thought it was going to be a 10 minute job. 2 hours later and they didn’t know what hit them.

                  maybe offer them a glass of water and some chocolate, lol!

                  Simon

                  Comment


                  • Evdurtschi
                    Evdurtschi commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yeah. They stayed 3 hours and inspected about 10%. They said they will have to bring more people back next time. 😅

                  • JT1923
                    JT1923 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Lmao 🤣

                • #18
                  Click image for larger version

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ID:	1002589 Eric's neighbors be like:
                  (\ /)
                  ​​​​​​(°¥°)
                  [email protected]( _ _ )................

                  Comment


                  • #19
                    Click image for larger version

Name:	how-to-get-rid-of-fruit-flies-1559156706.png
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ID:	1002606 You need to catch to whatever is laying them to know how to eradicate them. Some kind variety of jumping fruit fly. I'm really sorry, that's messed up.

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                    • #20
                      Removing all the figs from the trees i am bringing to sat fig fest in san jaun capistrtano ,just to be on the safe side ?
                      Zone 10a So. Calif. W.L. Super tasty new finds !

                      Comment


                      • Frankenberry
                        Frankenberry commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Might be best?

                      • JT1923
                        JT1923 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Good idea!!

                    • #21
                      Ah man!! Of all the ironies too for those in California, because the fly apparently lays its eggs through the ostiole some growers in other parts of the world have tried to combat it by blocking the ostiole, but that may mean no fig wasp pollination. Will other things trying to deal with it affect the fig wasp also, like poisons or traps?

                      It overwinters in the soil in the pupal stage, I wonder if that’s the best time to try to attack it with soil drenches and whatnot?
                      Last edited by RosyPosy; 06-24-2021, 10:24 PM.
                      Southern California 💨 Zone 9a
                      Figgy
                      wishlist: Boysenberry Blush, Angelito, White Baca, Labritja, Bebera Branca, Molondra Blanca, Miralla, Forastera dCR, Crozes, GM139,175, all the tasty Cali finds

                      Comment


                      • KSBorder
                        KSBorder commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You might be able to attack the pupae in the soil with parasitic nematodes.

                    • #22
                      Originally posted by ZomVee View Post
                      Wondwr if we can get this stickied for a while?
                      This is a really good topic for a sticky. Seconded!
                      Zone 10b, Long Beach CA.
                      Wish list: La Costa Jewel Unk., 505-H

                      Comment


                      • JT1923
                        JT1923 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        ZomVee At least autocorrect didn't turn it into something NSFW 😁

                      • ZomVee
                        ZomVee commented
                        Editing a comment
                        LOL, that would be ducking embarrassing.

                      • blackear
                        blackear commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Haven't noticed any in Los Alamitos and crossing my fingers,

                    • #23
                      Oh these sucks. Once you find on a tree, the whole tree is infected.
                      MJ
                      Chicago Zone 5

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                      • JT1923
                        JT1923 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        At least they don't kill the tree. But R.I.P. all those lovely figs 😭

                    • #24
                      I am in the Bay area (Albany) and lost a few unripe figs with this guy inside. Looks like the same pest...
                      ​​
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • JT1923
                        JT1923 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        It looks so cozy in there. Kill it with fire!

                      • goodfriendmike
                        goodfriendmike commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You have some type of caterpillar not BFF. Color is not the same also is that webbing of some sort? Little guy making a home.

                      • HarveyC
                        HarveyC commented
                        Editing a comment
                        peppercuts have you seen anymore like this? Any exit holes? Any of the flies themselves?

                    • #25
                      This is an important one. Evdurtschi thanks for posting this....
                      Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

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