There is a brown bettle type bug literally eating our fig bush.  It did have figs but they are gone.  What kind of treatment can we get to kill these bugs before they kill our bush?

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1 Answer

The Japanese Brown Beetle

Japanese beetles first appeared in the United States in 1916 in New Jersey. Since then, their population has exploded, and the area of infestation grows yearly. The beetles are iridescent bronze with a green head and thorax. They're highly destructive to some 200 plants. They can decimate trees and bushes by eating the green of the foliage. There is no way you can hand pick the multitudes of Japanese beetles on your fig tree. The best way to control the numbers is to use a trap. Commercial versions and refill components can be expensive. But you can build your own Japanese beetle trap for pennies.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 gallon milk jug, empty
  • Utility knife
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Packet of dry yeast
  • Mashed ripe banana
  • 3-foot or 4-foot shepherd hook
  • Slotted spoon


Cut the top off of an empty, clean, plastic milk jug just below the pour spout. The new opening should be about 3 inches in diameter. Leave the handle on the jug.

Fill the jug with a mixture of 1 cup water, one-quarter cup of sugar and a packet of dry yeast. Stir this together. Mash a ripe banana and add it to the rest of the ingredients in the jug.

Stick a 3-foot to 4-foot shepherd hook into the ground under the fig tree, and hang the jug by the handle from the hook.

Every morning, strain the beetles out of the jug with a slotted spoon. If there are any live ones in the jug, they won't be able to fly in the cool temperatures. You can feed them to chickens. Dump the beetles in the same place every morning. Instead of straining out the dead ones, dispose of the whole jug and mix up a new batch of water, sugar, yeast and banana.

Tips & Warnings

Don't leave dead Japanese beetles in the same jug day after day. They'll start to stink badly. The smell will keep the live Japanese beetles away from your homemade trap.

Again Sorry for being so long winded, but it is necessary to more fully respond to this question.


by Master Gardner (33.0k points)

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