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Watch for beetle activity at night

Watch for beetle activity at night

By Adrian Hunsberger


Q. I have small brown beetles eating up my loquat trees. What should I do since my trees have fruit?

It’s very hard to tell from leaf samples what exactly caused the feeding damage. I suspect it’s the Cuban May beetle. Check at night. You’ll see tan beetles on the leaves. Place a white plastic bucket under the tree at night containing a few inches of soapy water. The beetles are attracted to the white bucket and will drown in the soapy water.

As the summer progresses, you will see fewer of these insects. These beetles won’t harm the tree unless the tree is small and all the new leaves get devoured.

Insect samples

Send undamaged (live or dead) insects in a crush-proof container such as a pill bottle or film canister with the top taped on. Mail them in a padded envelope or box with a brief note explaining where you found the insects.

Do not tape insects to paper or place them loose in envelopes. Insect fragments or crushed insect samples are almost impossible to identify.

Send them to the address of your county extension office, found in the blue pages in the phone book under county government.

Adrian Hunsberger is an entomologist/horticulturist with the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension office. Write to Plant Clinic, 18710 SW 288th St., Homestead, FL 33030; e-mail aghu@ifas.ufl.edu.