The first alarm was sounded on the forum several years ago.   Now the larvae of the Black Fig Fruit Fly (Silba adipata McAlpine) has been found from Santa Barbara south to at least Orange County.  The photo above is from Santa Monica.   If your unripe figs appear misshapen or prematurely dark or soft, please cut them open and check for larvae.

After a flurry of interest and trapping, the state and county have basically given up on trying to control this pest.  Figs are not a big-money crop in California. So it is left to us amateurs to try and figure out our options.

It is definitely worth joining the forum at as its members are actively engaged in tracking the infestation and hunting down solutions.  The fly has been endemic in other parts of the world so there is some research available.


John Jackson · July 23, 2021 at 5:08 pm

I went and checked the fig tree in my backyard and fortunately there is no sign of any damage as yet. I am in El Cajon, CA in San Diego County so maybe it has not gotten this far south. That said the fruits are still small and unripe so we shall see what happens when they start ripening.

Ellen Maisen · July 26, 2021 at 1:42 pm

I have been checking the figs here for about 6 weeks, I have found some sunburnt figs and some with squirrel bites, but none with tunneling and I have seen no wiggling worms but I am going to keep checking. I am in Valley Center CA, unincorporated San Diego County near Riverside county border, kind of isolated but there are lots of caprifigs here so that may be a vector. We have had ripening breba and the squirrels are actively eating the fruit as usual so I don’t see a difference this year, but I am collecting and bagging all fruit that is damaged and allowing nothing to touch the ground. See the above link on “Ourfigs “, or this one for ongoing activity

David Lappen · August 1, 2021 at 9:15 pm

We have been growing Mission figs successfully for maybe 15 years. This year is different. We have a lot of fruit on the tree, but they turn dark when still very small and hard and fall off. I have inspected the dropped fruit and seen no signs of the fruit flies or larvae. Other neighbors have reported the same phenomenon. It hasn’t been incredibly hot here, nor have I watered much differently than in the past. Any ideas?

RUTH HOFFMAN · September 5, 2021 at 1:24 pm

We appear to have a problem with the figs at our Community Garden. Little flies are entering the ass of the fig and making it soft and not edible. Also, the figs are cracking. I can send pictures if you like. We are in San Diego, Ocean Beach.

Joseph · July 17, 2022 at 11:41 pm

Yes, I have this infestation in my fig tree. I’ve been eating from it for 35 years with no problem. I live in Thousand Oaks and now this week, I’m getting these under-ripe, dry figs that are turning purple early. There are 1 or more of these little larva inside. They wriggle and immediately try to get out of the fig. Gross. I wish I knew a treatment for them.

    Kevin · July 7, 2023 at 4:23 am

    Hi Joseph, I live in Thousand Oaks and I’be been growing and eating black mission figs for around 7 years. This year I notice the figs are wrinkly and soft and dry inside. Have you found a solution for this ?

    Thank you!

Nancy Bowden · August 27, 2023 at 2:39 pm

Help! I haver worms on my fig . What happens if you ear them? I’m in moorpark ca 93021

    Ronni Kern · August 27, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    Well, I guess you will get some protein with your figs. Most of us with the fruit fly now cut our figs in half before popping them in our mouths. The larva won’t hurt you though.

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.