Author Topic: Black Fig Fly Protection  (Read 422 times)

K-Rimes

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Black Fig Fly Protection
« on: July 22, 2023, 01:25:04 PM »
I went from a solid crop of annual figs to zero last year due to black fig fly, and this year upped my game. These methods seem to be working, and I really hope the whole tree bagging method works. The bagging of individual figs is tedious and it can break them off in the wind.

Here are a few options:



Bagging individual figs using small organza bags


Bagging the whole tree using this type of net, cinched at the bottom: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097CX2F42?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1


Using a large organza bag to bag an entire branch tip with multiple figs


Man, I hate doing this when it's 95f out.


I think this is the ideal size to bag them at, any bigger and I think BFF can sting it, it's still too hard at this size
« Last Edit: July 22, 2023, 01:27:58 PM by K-Rimes »

Kankan

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2023, 10:26:42 AM »
I have about 25 different varieties of figs planted out from cuttings, theyre about 2 years old and fruiting. Just noticed the kadota crop was knocked out by fig fly. Wondering if there are any varieties that are more resistant? I dont love the idea of bagging each fig, I may bag the whole tree and keep them small though (thanks for the link).

Jose Spain

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2023, 03:57:37 PM »
Organza works fine for the BFF, as far as you keep the fly away from the ostiole you're safe. The bad news is that Smyrna varieties logically are not compatible with bagging, the good one is that you don't lose any fig to birds either (Ceratitis capitata is able to lag eggs through organza though, but there are other ways to deal with this fly). 

K-Rimes

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2023, 04:17:04 PM »
Organza works fine for the BFF, as far as you keep the fly away from the ostiole you're safe. The bad news is that Smyrna varieties logically are not compatible with bagging, the good one is that you don't lose any fig to birds either (Ceratitis capitata is able to lag eggs through organza though, but there are other ways to deal with this fly).

I had read a French fig guy tried many different types of traps and solutions within, but resorted to bagging in the end. Europeans have been dealing with it for much longer, so I trust whatever you guys are doing!

Jose Spain

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2023, 04:37:09 PM »
Organza works fine for the BFF, as far as you keep the fly away from the ostiole you're safe. The bad news is that Smyrna varieties logically are not compatible with bagging, the good one is that you don't lose any fig to birds either (Ceratitis capitata is able to lay eggs through organza though, but there are other ways to deal with this fly).

I had read a French fig guy tried many different types of traps and solutions within, but resorted to bagging in the end. Europeans have been dealing with it for much longer, so I trust whatever you guys are doing!

Yes, the French guy, if is the same I know, is the best source on the internet for dealing with this species. The thing is that females of BFF once start to lay eggs they don't care about anything else, actually they are so focused on their activity that you can kill them with your hand if you are fast enough. So it doesn't matter how much time and effort you expend on traps and lures, once a female from a nearby tree comes to your trees on that stage, it won't care about any attractant, it will just do her work and go. So the best solution is to stop her from getting to the ostiole. That obviously also stops the wasp at least that you find a barrier small enough for the fly but that allows the wasp to pass through...

NateTheGreat

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2023, 08:21:26 PM »
Dang, hadn't heard of these before. Just a matter of time before they make it up to Norcal I'd guess. :/

nullzero

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2023, 08:54:13 PM »
I'm taking out all my in ground trees, they are to hard to protect over 7ft tall. I think only way to manage will be containers bagging everything. BSF has really made it a pain to grow fig trees.

I stopped collecting any more fig varieties. I have tried fly traps, bagging, etc. Bagging seems not fool proof either, the timing of placing the bags and getting to the fig before the scourge does.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

K-Rimes

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2023, 09:04:50 PM »
Dang, hadn't heard of these before. Just a matter of time before they make it up to Norcal I'd guess. :/

There were reports of them being found in Palo Alto just last week. It is depressing.

Nullzero, I get it. Id take out the big in ground trees too. Im going to be carving my trees up annually to keep them bagging height / size.

It appears there is no biological controls either, though I guess a sterile BFF breeding program might work.

Jose Spain

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2023, 03:41:47 AM »
I'm taking out all my in ground trees, they are to hard to protect over 7ft tall. I think only way to manage will be containers bagging everything. BSF has really made it a pain to grow fig trees.

I stopped collecting any more fig varieties. I have tried fly traps, bagging, etc. Bagging seems not fool proof either, the timing of placing the bags and getting to the fig before the scourge does.

The timing of placing the bags is... as soon as the figlet can hold the bag. I know is frustrating. FWIW, here in my tree I don't bag all my cvs, it's a 25 year old, cocktail tree with over 50 varieties and the original one is not protected and still give me a lot of fruit despise BFF, birds and Mediterranean fruit fly. (On a side note, I also discovered this year that a couple of varieties are actually Smyrna because I put the bags ASAP and the figs all fell down in the last weeks). So, for a very big, productive common tree, BFF here in Spain can reduce the crop (for figs, for brevas is dramatic enough to bag always if you want to harvest more than a dozen). But for domestic consumption, it can be still worth keeping the tree even without placing bags in every fig. I would check each case in big trees for a couple of years at least before removing the big ones because the orientation of the tree and even the cv can determine how much of the crop is lost (also the weather of each particular year).

BFF is one of those cases when a species that has been always here without giving too many problems suddenly started to be a serious plague for commercial crops in all the Mediterranean basin. For common cvs, I know that deltamethrin is working fine in reducing the population, but Smyrna crops in the north of Tunisia for example are struggling to produce enough caprifigs. In many areas commercial Smyrna figs are done, I think, at least that they come up with a solution to drastically reduce the populations of the fly without affecting the wasp, but moving to common varieties seems just easier. What made this fly so successful in causing these damages only in recent times is still a mystery as far as I know, maybe global warming, maybe it evolved to reproduce faster, or maybe its natural predators were too affected by the wide use of pesticides. In any case, my advice is to don't give up on big, old trees until you have observed the behavior of the fly for 2-3 years (potential predators also need time to adjust to the new prey), and bag as soon as possible for small ones.

Jose Spain

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2023, 03:50:02 AM »
Btw, one good thing when the attack is not extremely severe is that BFF makes a natural thinning of fruit and the remaining figs get much larger.

K-Rimes

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2023, 01:18:31 PM »
Quote
my advice is to don't give up on big, old trees until you have observed the behavior of the fly for 2-3 years

Sage advice. Last year they were everywhere and my crop was about 95% destroyed, but I did get some figs later in the season that I bagged. I am not saying that there are fewer or none this year, but I saw them with my own eyes stinging my figs with eggs last year... And have not seen that this year. My co-worker who has a massive house size black mission said last year she got about 10 ok figs, and this year she is getting more of them.

This all said, I would at the very least be sawing fig trees down to accessible heights.

ScottR

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2023, 12:27:16 PM »
Sad that no longer can you pick a fig and eat it(unless you don't mine a little protein) ;D ;)

K-Rimes

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Re: Black Fig Fly Protection
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2023, 12:40:44 PM »
Sad that no longer can you pick a fig and eat it(unless you don't mine a little protein) ;D ;)

A real bummer for sure, I always crack them in half before consuming now. I will really miss chowing figs and not even thinking about worms!

 

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