Carpophilus beetle in the Goulburn Valley (Vic)

Carpophilus beetle (or Driedfruit beetle) is being seen in the Goulburn Valley (Vic) at the moment and is known to increase in numbers after a mild and wet winter such as we just had.

Adult Carpophilus beetle (Photo: DPIRD Western Australia)

The key to control is starting early. The use of ‘attract and kill’ traps in the orchard can start in September to trap beetles on warm days when they are active. As with all pest control, keeping the population low and trying to prevent the population from increasing is extremely important (see below articles on cultural control methods).

Greater control of Carpophilus using traps is only achievable when traps are deployed across a wide area and starting long before the fruit harvest. Once the fruit has started to change colour, the fruit will become susceptible to damage and reduce the efficacy of the attract and kill traps. Even though the system is not always a perfect solution to the beetle problem, starting early can markedly delay the need to start using foliar insecticides.  Overall control over the season is better, and there is a likelihood of less mites and mite flare from insecticides used for control of the beetles. Some predict this season may bring large mite problems so the decision to spray for Carpophilus should be well considered and based on monitoring.

Traps can be used for monitoring. One trap per 5 ha will give an indication of the population size and the activity of the beetle. The traps need regular servicing each week, this is critical to have the traps at optimum attraction to compete against ripening fruit. Fruit and beetle need to be monitored as the fruit approaches maturity and becomes susceptible to attack. Sprays are applied to cover the fruit and foliage before the beetles can reach damaging levels. Decisions to respray trees should be based on monitoring and label recommendations. Insecticides do not give long-term protection against the adult beetles that can migrate into the area.

For more detailed information on Carpophilus beetle see:

Fruit Growers Victoria article by Russell Fox (IK Caldwell):

Dried Fruit Beetle (Carpophilus)-pest of stone fruit article (DPIRD Western Australia):

Bugs for Bugs article on Carpophilus:

Article reviewed by Mofakhar Hossain (Agriculture Victoria).

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