Black Fig Fruit Fly redux

As Sagi pointed out at today’s meeting, many fig growing areas around the world continue to be able to  harvest crops despite the fact that this fly has been there for decades.  The appearance of BFFF here is not a cause for total despair but it is definitely a reason to be vigilant in inspecting your figs, collecting and dissecting any that drop prematurely, safely disposing of any that are infested (NOT in compost or yard waste) and being very wary of accepting figs or potted fig plants from unknown sources.

If you do find larvae  in your figs, please contact the CFDA. 

If you don’t have them yet but are concerned, join the ourfigs. com forum for up to date discussions and advice.

A webpage that discusses different home brew lure recipes and a home-made trap is here.    BTW, a 5mm hole in the US basically requires a 7/32nd drill bit.

I have just ordered 100 1.5 ml propylene test tubes if anyone wants some to try experimenting with lures.  I also have some hexanol but thus far am not seeing any results with it.

Good luck!

Field Trip to Mark Steele’s orchard July 10th @ 10 am

Most of us know Mark Steele as the extremely knowledgeable banana expert who has generously shared with us (at both LA and WLA chapter meetings) his vast experience with the AAA and BBB genome groups (and everything in between).

He is also, however, a self-proclaimed Fig Nerd… as witnessed by his co-hosting a major sale of exotic fig plants this past fall.   And now we have a rare chance to see both his banana plants and fig tree, as well as citrus, stone fruit, cherimoya, and other fruits he grows.

When not in his garden or chasing his 4-year-old son, Mark is a Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge.

On Saturday, July 10th, he will be taking us on a tour of his yard and discussing the ups and downs of fruit cultivation.   While most of us will be tuning in via Zoom, he says he can handle up to  5 warm immunized bodies, so if you would like to attend in person, please let us know.  This may well be your once in a lifetime opportunity to head home with some of Mark’s special plants, so attendance will have to be on a first-come, first served basis.

Zoom links, etc will be in  members’ forthcoming newsletter.  Mark’s address will only be provided to those who  make the 5 body cut -off.  PLEASE do  not claim a spot unless you are 100% you can attend.

Photo by Martin Angelov on Unsplash

Warning: New Fig Pest in California!

Black Fig Fly

This PSA came from member Alan Caramatti.   Eric Durtschi, who is referenced in the post, gave a memorable talk to our chapter on Cacao a few months ago.  He is also an extremely avid fig grower.

“Just in the past week or so several people in SoCal have discovered a horrible new pest in figs in their orchards.  Please see info in this thread on the OurFigs forum, which Eric Durtschi posted:  https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-home/1002499-urgent-psa-for-all-california-growers
This is something all CRFG-ers need to be vigilant about.”

Meeting June 8th @ 10 am: Dr. Leryn Gorlitsky on the Fig & the Wasp

Dr. Gorlitsky is a Senior Researcher at UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research as well as a lecturer in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (whose mantra is Moving Science to Action) As such, she is intimately engaged in efforts to combat everything from invasive species to mass extinctions. Her specialty of Tropical Ecology, however, intersects with our interest in exactly what is going on in our back forties. She will be lecturing to us on Coevolution, focusing on the interaction between the fig and the wasp.

Margaret’s friend Britten is currently a student in one of Dr. Gorlitsky’s UCLA classes and reports she is both an engaging and incredibly knowledgeable lecturer. This is definitely a meeting not to be missed.

October 13th @ 10 am: Edgar Valdivia on Cherimoya and Figs

Edgar Valdivia is one of the great fruit growers and researchers in the Southland with a specific interest in developing  new varieties of fruit.  Seven years ago he counted 112 different types of fruit in his orchard and he has surely developed even  more by now.  It is the  casual way he imparts a lifetime of fruit growing wisdom, however, that  makes him a living legend and a cherished speaker.  We are extremely lucky to have snared him for our October 13th meeting.  He will be talking to us about  cherimoyas and figs.  Do not miss him!!