The green fruit beetle grows to about an inch-and-a-half long and has an iridescent green shine to its exoskeleton. Often mistaken for their smaller relative the Japanese beetle, green fruit beetles feed on fruit trees. These beetles most commonly attack mature or rotting fruits such as tomatoes, figs, peaches and plums, but they don't cause as much damage as Japanese beetles nor do their larvae harm the plants. If, however, it becomes necessary to control a population of green fruit beetles, there are ways to go about doing so.
Things You'll Need
- Soapy water
- Plastic soda bottle
- Grape juice
- Fruit peels or pieces
- Milky Spore bacterium
Remove all manure, leaf piles and lawn clippings from the area surrounding your fruit trees. These cool, damp areas attract adult green fruit beetles when they're ready to lay their eggs. Preventing adult beetles from laying eggs will reduce the number of grubs that grow into mature beetles.
Turn your compost pile frequently, if you have one, to expose any growing grubs. Remove grubs when you find them and drown them in soapy water.
Flood the affected area for at least two days to kill large grub populations. After flooding, ensure that proper drainage exists so the ground near your fruit trees will not remain damp enough to attract adult beetles back to the area to lay more eggs.
Harvest mature fruit frequently, and remove any rotting or fallen fruit as quickly as possible. By removing fruit as soon as it matures, you'll limit the green fruit beetle's food source, and you'll ensure that you get the most out of your harvest.
Build beetle traps by cutting the tops off plastic soda bottles and inverting them inside the remainder of the bottle to form a funnel. Fill the bottle with a few inches of grape juice and water, and add a few pieces of fruit or fruit peels. Hang the traps from affected trees to catch adult beetles.
Apply Paenibacillus popilliae bacterium, also called Milky Spore, to the ground around your fruit trees. This product was designed to kill the larvae of Japanese beetles, but it also may be effective against other grubs. One application of Milky Spore can last several years, and it doesn't harm plants, animals or beneficial insect populations.