October 9, 2021
Figs are a luscious fruit grown commercially mostly in central and southern California. The plant has an unusual reproductive system: the flower grows inside the wide end of the fruit providing a small hole so that a pollinator wasp can enter
Recently an invasive pest of figs has been seen in southern California. The black fig fly (Silba adipata) deposits its eggs into this same opening on the fruit. The larvae feed internally on the fruit. The damaged fruit will then drop to the ground. Once started, this cycle of fly, eggs, larvae, and pupae is difficult to control. There are currently no chemical controls registered specifically for this pest.
Although the black fig fly has not been seen on Marin County figs, we should watch for it. If the home gardener finds exit holes on unripe fruits that drop to the ground, they should contact the Marin County UCCE farm advisor at 415 473-4204.