How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Driedfruit and sap beetles—Carpophilus spp.

Adults are small brown or black beetles with or without lighter spots on the wings. They range in size from 1/10 to 1/5 inch long and have clubbed antennae.

Life cycle

Eggs are laid on ripe and rotting fruit of all types. Eggs hatch in 1 to 5 days, and larvae feed actively as they move through their food. Larvae are white and 1/10 to 1/5 inch long when mature. They have tan head capsules, three pairs of true legs, and two hornlike structures on the anal end. Full grown larvae enter the soil and make earthen cells in which they pupate. Mating takes place soon after adults emerge from the soil, and eggs are laid from 1 to 8 days thereafter. In warm weather, there may be a generation every 3 weeks.

Damage

When fruit is approaching maturity, it often develops an entry point (such as the eye of a fig) into the soft fruit tissue. Driedfruit beetles can enter at this site or at any open site caused mechanically or by other insects and start feeding. They can transmit spoilage organisms that cause fruit souring and increase the attractiveness of the fruit to other pests such as vinegar flies and navel orangeworms.

Solutions

Remove and destroy fallen fruit and cull piles immediately. Beetles can be trapped in containers with an inverted cone top baited with fermenting fruit and water. In figs, varieties with small eyes are less affected. Selective pruning to allow more sunlight on figs dropped beneath trees or rapid removal of dropped fruit may reduce problems.

Driedfruit beetle adult
Driedfruit beetle adult

Driedfruit beetle larva
Driedfruit beetle larva

Driedfruit beetle pupae
Driedfruit beetle pupae

Driedfruit beetle feeding of fruit tissue
Driedfruit beetle feeding of fruit tissue


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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