DIY trap for Black Fig Fruit Fly

Chapter member (and SD organic commercial farmer) Ellen Maisen found an interesting article from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It  was aimed at olive growers who are battling the olive fruit fly but the traps seem identical to what are being proposed for Silba Adipata McAlpine (the Black Fig Fruit Fly).

These are the instructions in the article for an easy DIY trap.  In the absence of torula yeast, I have found that Marmite and other yeast products work pretty well also as attractants.

Olipe Trap

Olipe traps are made with 1.5 to 2 liter plastic non-food bottles, with several 4 to 5 mm sized holes drilled or melted at the top, and baited with 3 to 4 torula yeast tablets per liter of water. Pheromones may or may not increase trap catches.

  • Place two traps for each 5 to 10 acre block for monitoring and one trap per tree for mass trapping control. Mass trapping usually does not work as a stand-alone treatment, but can supplement the efficacy of other treatments or reduce the number of treatments by reducing the overall number of flies in the orchard. Flies attracted to the bait, crawl into the bottle through the holes at top, and drown.

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!