How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Green fruit beetle—Cotinis mutabilis

The adult fruit beetle is a large metallic beetle (1.25 inch long) with a scarab shape. The larval stage is a C-shaped, creamy white grub, which feeds on decaying organic material in the soil, such as piles of manure, partially decomposed compost, or piles of lawn clippings. Adult beetles emerge in summer and feed on ripe fruit.

Life cycle


Adults attack maturing soft fruit such as tomatoes, peaches, plums, figs, and apricots. Grubs do not damage fruit.


Management is most effective against grubs. Remove all manure, lawn clippings, or leaf piles from areas near fruit trees and turn compost piles frequently to speed decomposition and expose small grubs. If grubs are found, they may be killed by flooding the infested area for at least 2 days. Early harvest and removal of fallen fruit can reduce damage. Control is more difficult for adults because they may fly in from a distance. Although managing organic matter to control grubs more effectively reduces populations, adults may be captured using homemade traps. Attract adults with a 1:1 mixture of grape juice (or peach juice) and water. Place several inches of this liquid bait in the bottom of a 1 gallon container and insert a funnel of wire mesh in the opening. Beetles attracted by the bait will land in the funnel and be guided to walk down into the container. Once inside, adults will be unable to escape.

Green fruit beetle adult
Green fruit beetle adult

Green fruit beetle larva
Green fruit beetle larva

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2016 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/PESTS/grfruitbeetle.html revised: August 11, 2016. Contact webmaster.