Fig beetle

Dear Editor:Fig beetles look like black bumble bees and act like June bugs as they bump into things in their surroundings, including humans. They are annoying like flies as they buzz around one's head and face. I called pest control who said they had no way to eradicate them. I went to All-American to ask for traps or poisons. The gentleman in the garden center told me had had just completed an insect class and knew all about fig beetles. He said there was no product to eradicate beetles; indeed, the fly zapper is designed for small insects. The larger size of the fig beetle protects it from getting close enough to the zapping wires to be zapped. Feeling defeated, I went to the Internet. The Internet described the fig beetle's habitat: fruit trees with mature figs, especially fig trees, and trees that produce soft fruit like peach trees; that is why the beetles appear in fig season. The fig beetles feed on the mature fruit. They lay their eggs in the rotten fruit that falls to the ground so the next generation can return next year to annoy us some more. (Furthermore, rats and squirrels, cousins of the rats, also love ripe fruit. These animals have fleas that may carry diseases.) Solution: to prevent the continued reproduction of fig beetles (and feeding the rats), Downey residents should pick their fruit daily and pick up the fruit that falls to the ground. If the residents do not like the fruit, perhaps consideration of eliminating their tree is in order. -- Gloria Valladolid, Downey

********** Published: August 26, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 19