The first alarm was sounded on the ourfigs.com forum three weeks 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.  You can contact the state and they will send out inspectors who will take samples.  Their “bug docs” are currently trying to figure out a lure.  This is what they sent out recently.

pestalert_blackfigfly

The folks at ourfigs.com are also worth joining as they independently track the infestation and hunt down solutions.  The fly has been endemic in other parts of the world so there is some research available.


6 Comments

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 https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-home/1002499-urgent-psa-for-all-california-growers

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.

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