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  • Black Fig Fly Lures and traps experiments

    I have validation that I had BFF in my figs. CDFA picked up samples that I collected and validated it.
    Now for traps and lures. Can you share a picture of the traps and lures and report your results? I will report mine as the season progress.

    I have several McPhail traps and some home made bottle traps. I tried some fig sap in water, bread yeast and sugar, borax and nutritional yeast (the bait used for fruit fly by CDFA is basically 45% torula yeast and 55% borax based on a requirement document I found), Ammonium sulfate, and a general fly traps. All caught different flies. The basic fly trap catches the most flies. The others catch a few. I do not know that any of them is effective for BFF.

    I must have had some success because I see significantly less issues. CDFA had a tough time finding infected figs when they came over to sample and most of the material was from a jar of infected figs I kept for them. I did a lot of cleanup and removed any fig that was prematurely ripening and destroyed it. There are no figs left on the ground and all infected figs and any suspected figs that I picked go through the garbage disposal. I think that is the main reason for the slowdown but that's just a guess.

    I assume that another generation will emerge soon. I don't assume that I got them all.

    What lures and traps are you using? What works well for you? I read all the posts on the forum that mentioned different lures.

    I called the companies that produce lures and pheromone traps and asked CDFA. All were clear that they do not have a recommended lure or trap yet and are in the fact finding phase. CDFA said that they do catch the fly with the Torula /Borax tablets but that does not make it the most effective treatment. We will learn more overtime but with so many of you, we can try to help identify what works best for now so we can all help reduce the numbers.




    Attached Files
    Last edited by Sagi; 07-29-2021, 12:44 PM. Reason: Adding pictures from my phone
    Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

  • #2
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
    Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

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    • Figology
      Figology commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice proactive work.

    • Figland
      Figland commented
      Editing a comment
      Sagi I think you did everything you could and those steps are what Houston suggested to the farmers also.

  • #3
    Thank you so much Sagi for starting this! I really appreciate your efforts and your sharing them. This will result in quicker results than waiting, so good for you! Here is what the lead entomologist said has been working: "Yeast does appear to work as an attractant for black fig fly. One limitation is that this brings in a lot of different things and this by catch has to be sorted out. I have heard that fig sap (I presume this is obtained by cutting branches and letting drops fall down) works when added to the ammonium sulfate solution (maybe plain water as well) in the reservoir of a trap (not in a vial). I have not seen much regarding the quantities used, etc."

    Someone in Santa Barbara area has been using the yeast plus sugar, someone else in Los Angeles has been trying the traps you are using and not having as much success trapping them, it may be that there are not enough in your area ( good thing), but keeping up with the sanitation will help keep them from reproducing successfully.

    I'm not finding any yet but that doesn't mean they are not here. I'm north and east of San Diego. Your pictures help me ( and others) to try to find them, keep posting! So far no larvae yet, they are really scary to see, keep your chin up!
    Ellen
    Valley Center, Ca 9b
    Rancho Los Serranos Organic Farm

    Comment


    • Sagi
      Sagi commented
      Editing a comment
      Figland Thank you for the good information. Saw your posts before. I'll try and mix sap and ammonium sulfate next time I replace a lure. I had them separated with no luck in the white McPhail traps. I started three traps with nutritional yeast and borax (deactivated yeast I assume is similar to torula yeast) yesterday and today. I'll post the results when I empty them. I used both the bottles and the McPhail trap.

  • #4
    Sagi That is great, I'll try to get others to come to this thread to share with you, ronke is in WLA, I'm not sure if @green fig is in Los Angeles or Pasadena, don't be disappointed if you don't catch them at first, some people are having to be patient as their efforts are not always successful, I'm hoping the team working on this from CDFA and the University will get something out for people like you, I'll try to bug them a bit more, if everyone in the affected areas starts trapping we might be able to significantly slow this pest down! Now I am following and watching every fly I see lol! You might try calling the Farm Bureau or https://acwm.lacounty.gov/entomology...-laboratories/ Maybe someone at the lab could give you baiting information. Best of Luck!
    Ellen
    Valley Center, Ca 9b
    Rancho Los Serranos Organic Farm

    Comment


    • #5
      Thank you for posting this information. I'm guessing sap is a good lure since they're laying eggs in green figs that aren't sweet yet. I like the pitcher plants. Are you able to tell if they put much of a dent in the pest population?
      7B Southern NJ

      Comment


      • Sagi
        Sagi commented
        Editing a comment
        arachyd they catch bugs but don't make a dent.

      • arachyd
        arachyd commented
        Editing a comment
        I always wanted to grow some but the dogs would disturb them.

    • #6
      Sagi if you are interested in reading about attractants, this looks like an amazing resource! https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Public...e_1574_web.pdf
      Ellen
      Valley Center, Ca 9b
      Rancho Los Serranos Organic Farm

      Comment


      • Sagi
        Sagi commented
        Editing a comment
        Figland ISCA has many lures for fruit fly. If its determined that BFF can be trapped with similar lures, that should make it easy.

      • Figland
        Figland commented
        Editing a comment
        Sagi Here is something one of the UC Farm Advisors recommended, I don't know if any hobbyists are following this but there might be some nuggets of useful information here for you. https://www2.ipm.ucanr.edu/agricultu...ive-fruit-fly/

    • #7
      Sagi thank you for the post. I have the same unsatisfactory experience with attractants. Yeast with borax works sort of better than the others but still slow. I don’t know why, either because of the trap/attractant or because there are too few of them to catch . I am in Pasadena btw.
      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Boysenberry Blush

      Comment


      • Figland
        Figland commented
        Editing a comment
        Maybe they are hard to get away from the fig plants. Wish we were all chemists or biologists! We need to find that one special thing that they are attracted to, but if there are figs around they may be drawn to them! Thanks for your location! You came a long way to Orange County! Glad to have met you! Hope Fico Viola Argentato is behaving for you!

    • #8
      Sagi hi ,i have been setting traps (10) bult like the one shown in your photos made from water bottles ,holes almost the same in position and size except a little smother ,(twisting hot pocker) ,many different baits ,so far have caught 4 BFF from most infected trees in santa barbara area . all 4 came to a sugar water and bragg nutritional yeast mix ! Ihave only seen two in person on the trees and have broken lots of leaves to expose sap and have yet to see a BFF come to it to feed ! this initial infestation i do not think it was caused by a high number of individual flys ,i think that will change as the BFF population grows with next few generations . Every BFF you catch is a good thing BUT i believe that removing the fallen fruit and the disscollored and weakly atached fruit from infected trees and then SPRAYING THE TREE AND ESPECIALY THE GROUND BELOW AND AROUND THE INFECTED TREE WITH ORTHO BUG -B-GONE LAWN AND LANDSCAPE WILL KILL THE WORM / MAGOT STAGE AS IT ENTERS THE GROUND AND SOME OF THE ADULT FLYS AND THE EMARGING FLYS !!! This pesticide kills a lot of insects including ants ,keeps killing for a long time ,is listed for WALNUT HUSK FLY that has a simular life cycle to BFF except only one cycle a season . "safe" to eat most veggies and fruit in 7-21 days aprox .. RUNNING ONGOING EXPARAMENTS WITH THIS PESTICIDE easily found at Home depot ,ace etc.
      Zone 10a So. Calif. W.L. Super tasty new finds !

      Comment


      • Fig Gazer
        Fig Gazer commented
        Editing a comment
        note it is important to dispoe of suspected infected fruit in a way that kills all worms and pupi ,fine grinding ,sealed plastic bag in sun for long time ,posible long term freezing till freezer burnt etc .

    • #9
      Fig Gazer I removed two brown turkey figs today with larva. I remove them long before they fall to the ground and after I cut them open to check, they go into the garbage disposal so nothing gets to live. I assume that I am in between generations but I also have many ripe figs that are good right now.

      Not sure about spraying yet. I may try sugar with nutritional yeast since it's working for you but since it's not active yeast in not sure if it needs it.
      Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

      Comment


      • #10
        Found a few more infected figs on the trees and removed them. All the traps with the different lures catch several different flies but I have not been able to positively identify the BFF. May need to figure out a dedicated seive to filter the flies caught for inspection.
        Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

        Comment


        • claret
          claret commented
          Editing a comment
          You don't have a seive in the kitchen that will do the job?

      • #11
        claret not a spare one.
        Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

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        • #12
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ID:	1039899 Got one today with a bug zapping racquet. It fried it but I still have a decent picture. They hover in place around the fig trees and look all black and the light reflects from their black body. I don't see the red eyes most times when they fly.
          Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

          Comment


          • Figland
            Figland commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow! they do look different than regular flies, notice how their wings go straight out! In the trap picture, in liquid they almost looked like bees, but they had probably soaked up a bunch of liquid in that pic.

        • #13
          I will say that I am stunned to actually be harvesting figs right now. Mostly my Janice Kadota because the squirrels or birds or something are taking huge bites out of the bulk of the Black Mission.

          I did much as you did, Sagi: pulled off any prematurely discoloring figs (tricky with the green Janice Kadota), picked up any figs I saw on the ground and cooked them in plastic bags before disposing, trapped with the Torula Yeast bait, most successfully in the DIY traps made from 18 ounce water bottles -- though the Kadota also had a McPhail trap and for several weeks one from the state -- and finally spraying with the beneficial nematode Steinernema carpocapsae.I actually did the last mostly because my 21-month old grand-daughter was coming to visit and I wanted to minimize the biting insects that infest my yard. It worked like a charm for that job but maybe had some impact on the Silba as well. I did see a reference somewhere to Sc use. Also I made a point of scattering my regular bird feeding millet specifically under the Black Mission in the hopes that the birds might find the larva tasty, No idea if any of this worked or -- like you -- am just between generations. Anyhow, never thought I would get any figs this year so I am pleased. I am really wondering about spraying Surround (kaolin clay) next year but cannot figure out an appropriate schedule since figs are always forming. Maybe it will involve spraying the clay and then pruning back any new growth, dunno.

          Comment


          • Figland
            Figland commented
            Editing a comment
            They are using Surround on citrus now, they just spray the entire tree, I attended a Zoom meeting on that for farmers recently. Some of the packing houses have equipment for washing it off before packing. They are also adding a red colorant to it, for citrus psyllids, that seems to make a difference, but I think they are more cued to light and color than BFF. People are also making a paste of it and applying to ostiole of figs, or using clay, or wax.

        • #14
          Below a response on Twitter from a UC Riverside Ag center Kadie Britt on traps they are testing right now. Interested in finding good resources for Torula and Hexanol that are not overpriced. As far as I know they buy them in massive quantities like food barrel size.

          Yes! We are testing McPhail traps with two lure types: 1) 4 tabs of torula yeast in water and 2) ammonium sulfate in water + hexanol
          Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

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          • #15
            Thank you both for sharing your experiences, everything is valuable and will contribute to us finding a way to stop this menace to our crops! Thank you for being present and active! Thank you to everyone working on this problem, declared or not, I know there are some pretty powerful experiments going on right now, so hope to hear some more news. Keep up the good work!
            Ellen
            Valley Center, Ca 9b
            Rancho Los Serranos Organic Farm

            Comment


            • #16
              I didn’t get a chance to read all the comments, so someone might have already suggested these :

              1. Add fig leafs to you’re lure water. (I have a feeling BFF can smell the compounds from far)

              2. Add water that was used for soaking cuttings. That stuff attracts all kinds of things in my area. It might help having sweet and sap in the water since they feed on those two things.

              Just my 2 centavos
              Anthony- Fig Finder of Los Angeles

              Instagram

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              • Figland
                Figland commented
                Editing a comment
                Some who are in situations where there is heavy infestation have said that the flies are not coming to their traps, might be several reasons for this, CDFA entomologists and inspectors in the field I have talked to have said they thought fig sap was best also using yeast and ammonium sulfate.

              • Figology
                Figology commented
                Editing a comment
                Figland found a few link, I’m not sure if anyone posted them.

                This link is for hexanol.

                https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1984.tb03362.x

                " The traps baited with protein hydrolysate captured 5 times more S. adipata than similarly traps baited with diammonium phosphate."

                https://www.ishs.org/ishs-article/1310_38

              • Figland
                Figland commented
                Editing a comment
                Figology I remember Silba adipata saying that the female needs protein, so that would help attract them. Good resource!

            • #17
              Another tip: at least with disposable fly traps, I noticed there was significantly more flies in the bags that were suspended from a branch and had clearance of at least a foot in all directions.
              Anthony- Fig Finder of Los Angeles

              Instagram

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              • #18
                New year. I started two white McPhail traps with one TBS nutritional yeast and one TBS borax. Mixed in six cups of warm water (3 cups per trap). Trying to recreate the torula yeast bait. Caught a few flies. None so far is a BFF.



                edit: To reduce confusion, I am removing the pictures I added which were not BFF as noted by venturabananas
                not sure how to remove the last picture. The option to continue
                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                Last edited by Sagi; 02-19-2022, 05:03 PM.
                Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

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              • #19
                Uh oh. Had been sort of preoccupied with pruning, grafting, etc and not thinking too much about Silba yet. Nonetheless I thought I should check here to see if there were any new ideas for dealing with them. When I saw you guys were already embroiled, I decided it was high time to get traps up. Yesterday, I put one in the front with my Panache seedling which is covered with babies that I carefully enclosed in little mesh bags. Just found this, sigh.
                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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                • #20
                  Looks like the BFF. What’s in your bait?
                  Anthony- Fig Finder of Los Angeles

                  Instagram

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                  • #21
                    Torula yeast pellet. Last year I tried all the suggestions and the Marmite concoction probably worked the best but it was so foul smelling I couldn't get near the tree. Torula is what the County used and was very effective for them.

                    Comment


                    • Sagi
                      Sagi commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Where do you buy them? I found 2lbs at ISCA but looking at sources and prices.

                  • #22
                    Sagi Good News! Here is a researcher that is going to be working on this problem, yay!


                    Valeh Ebrahimi <[email protected]>
                    Apr 13, 2022, 5:26 PM (13 hours ago)
                    to me








                    Hi Ellen

                    This is Valeh and I am a postdoc researcher in UC Riverside Entomology department working with Dr. Houston Wilson. in my new project I am working on monitoring, trap optimization, and developmental biology of Black Fig Fly.


                    I asked Erik Downs from Riverside County Ag Commissioner's office for fig production info in Riverside County, he sent me a list of commercial fig production in our area. Since he mentioned you have been gathering data about BFF infestation, I was wondering if you can help us with any fig production locations in California or any other information about BFF infestation.


                    Thank you so much
                    Valeh Ebrahimi
                    Postdoctoral scholar
                    Department of Entomology
                    University of California, Riverside
                    900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521

                    (415) 920-3720 | [email protected]u







                    Ellen
                    Valley Center, Ca 9b
                    Rancho Los Serranos Organic Farm

                    Comment


                    • JCT
                      JCT commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Figland I exchanged a couple of emails with her. She was asking about local commercial orchards. Beyond yours, the only one I know about is a u-pick place in Ramona. (I've sadly never been able to make it, maybe this year.) Plus a couple of places specializing in figs...

                    • Figland
                      Figland commented
                      Editing a comment
                      JCT do you know the name of that u pick farm? She would definitely be interested in that. I think we just have to keep bugging them, hobbyists are going to be a big part of the solution. Sorry to say it but some farmers are really unaware of the issues we are facing and will not be as proactive as hobbyists, nutty as we are. Organic farmers have no choice because they have no "nuke options", so they would be the most important places to contact, since they will be more cooperative. Some conventional farmers don't believe that there are any pests they can't "nuke" out of existence. This one they can't so it needs a different approach.

                    • JCT
                      JCT commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Figland Ellen, Here's what I sent her:
                      Shadow Creek Ranch, 14781 Mussey Grade, Ramona, CA 92065, Phone: (858) 922-2950. Email: [email protected] - I actually have not been here, just heard about it.
                      Chino Farms - They have a fruit stand and I believe a number of fig trees at this location. http://www.chinofamilyfarm.com
                      Encanto Farms - Jon has a good number of trees although he's not super active in the community anymore.

                  • #23
                    Good to hear. Looking for any new information and am happy to test any new lures in my many traps.
                    Los Angeles 10B coastal influence.

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                    • #24
                      a update on ortho bug-b-gone lawn and landscape ,has no effect on magots inside figs when sprayed on fruit ,kills when sprayed on magots in cut in half fruit,do not know effect on emerging magots from fruit or flys landing on tree or emerging from ground ,so many infested trees in surronding area hard to judge effectivnes of my offensive efforts .SOME IMERGING MAGOTS CAN NOT GET OUT OF ORGANZA BAGS DEPENDING ON MESH SIZE AND PUPATE IN THE BAG !?
                      Zone 10a So. Calif. W.L. Super tasty new finds !

                      Comment


                      • venturabananas
                        venturabananas commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Oh yes, they will get trapped in the small mesh organza bags if they were already in the figs, and pupate. I bet they will emerge from that stage, ready to do more damage if let out!

                      • Figland
                        Figland commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks for your work on this, seems to agree with what Houston and others have said about the bug being "safe" when it's inside the fruit.

                    • #25
                      TRAPS are such a "drop in the bucket" realative to a full on BFF INFESTATION that even the most effective traps to date only let you KNOW that BFF is present and has little effect on population dynamics . direct vacuming of BFF female flys in the act of egg laying and otherwise landing on figs yielded 10 to 20 flys in 30 min .sesions and had little effect on overall fly damage. way more effective than any trap/bait combo that i have heard about ! yet futile !
                      Zone 10a So. Calif. W.L. Super tasty new finds !

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