fig bugs

plegareJuly 4, 2010

Small black bugs about 1/4" long that fly, are eating the inside of my figs. First 2 days picking (a great crop) had no bugs, then after 1 rainy day of no picking, almost all figs were being eaten by these little monsters. There are usually 3 or 4 in a fruit and they eat the interior from the hole in the bottom. At this point, the crop seems to be a total loss.

The bugs fly away when you pick the fruit.

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That is a shame. That is what often happens with Brunswick (AKA Magnolia) figs that are commonly grown in Texas. Once you get a bug infestation on your tree, it is hard to get a fully ripe one before the bugs. However, Brunswick figs can be picked (saved) before they are completely ripe and before the bugs have a chance to get inside......and these early picked figs will make an excellent preserve.

The trick to avoiding this problems is to find and grow closed eyed figs that keep those bugs out. Also, honey or resin sealed varieties which have no hollow (void) areas inside the pulp. Any bug that can enter through the eye of a fig can carry yeast and other microorganisms on their body. The yeast ferments the honey/sugar that is inside of the fig and those souring micro organisms can make it go sour. A real PITA for those of us in a hot rainy climate.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 5:21PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Why can't you just paint candle wax over the eye? Nothing can get in there! Just a suggestion!


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 6:02PM
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I have the same problem with ants getting in through an open eye. I use Tanglefoot to stop them but ants don't fly. In your case I would go with a closed eye variety as mentioned by another poster.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:30PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

How about trying to bag the fruits with plastic. Or use the plastic food wrap to wrap the fruits so the bugs can't get in. Just a suggestion. It would be a waste to throw the tree away.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 2:00AM
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I always try the easy solution first. If it does not work then not too much loss of time or other things. Why not paste a piece of Scotch tape to cover the hole. I had never tried it before but before writing this post I tried to check and it worked i.e. the Scotch tape stuck to the bottom to cover the hole. The best time to paste will be when you feel the fig is starting to get ripened.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:16AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Ottawan, that's a good idea! I have ONE fig (my very first fig) that is turning really dark, so I know it's about ripe. I just taped the eye! Yay!! What is that they say? An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!!


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:06PM
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For those of you suggesting the plastic wrap or candle must have never had a fig tree! I have had a fig tree for nearly 9 years and they produce like crazy. I just spent time picking up hundreds of figs from the yard because they fall off and then start fermenting. Of course there are still plenty left on the tree. I live in Arizona (phoenix area) and am still trying to find a solution to those fig bugs. The variety here don't seem to fly. Any body have a real solution??

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 11:00PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

I've been wondering if anyone has ever tried the netting fabrics that you get from sewing store? They are like window screen, but are material and would easily be worked with. I'm thinking of doing something like that to try it out.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 6:34AM
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