Fig beetle

DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST

The adult fig beetle (family Scarabaeidae) is 0.75 to 1.25 inches long, velvet green on top with a brownish yellow band around the edge of the wings and a bright metallic green color on its ventral side. The head has a short, hornlike process on the front. Larvae are soil dwelling and feed on organic matter on the soil surface. They may be 2 inches long when mature and are cream colored with tan head capsules and legs. Rows of short, stiff, brown hairs on the back of thorax are used for locomotion rather than the legs. Mature larvae form hollow cells in the soil and pupate there.

DAMAGE

Damage is done by the adults scraping a hole in the fruit and feeding on the flesh inside. Their excrement stains the skin of the fruit.

MANAGEMENT

Remove leaf litter and other organic matter from the soil surface in spring to starve larvae. Also, allow the soil surface to dry out and harden to imprison the adults before they emerge. Flood irrigate to destroy eggs and young larvae; they cannot tolerate saturated soil for over 2 days. No chemical controls are recommended.