smaill black beetle eating my fruit trees

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Flatland, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have just discovered a small shiny black beetle eating the leaves of my almond, peach, cherry, apricot and plum trees. The only trees it isn't on are the apples and fig. Not on any veggies. It is about 1/8 inch in length and eats the leaves. It can fly and dies when sprayed with pyrethrum. I've never seen it before and wonder what it is.
     
  2. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Do you have a photo of it?
     
  3. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Sounds like a stink bug. Hand pick them off and spray the trees with Pest Oil and bug repellent to avoid them eating the leaves and killing the trees.
     
  4. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Sorry no photo. When I googled stink bug doesn't look like them. They are like a black lawn beetle but smaller. They are oval shaped. Looked today & there aren't any so maybe my spraying got them all.
     
  5. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The type of stink bugs that look like black beetles are just small native dung beetles. So best not to kill those as they definitely do NOT eat greenery, just dung.

    We really would need a photo as there are many black beetles.

    But if it is sticking to those particular fruit trees then it might be some sort of beetle that lives out it's whole life cycle on Pome varieties.
    Probably those trees needed spraying whilst still devoid of leaves.
    Most Pomes need a spray before leaf burst & bud burst.
     
  6. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I tried googling black beetles and yes there are many types. Could not really come up with one that I could say was the ones I have. They were definitely eating the leaves (saw them doing it ) so they are not dung beetles, though that is really what they look like. None on the leaves this morning
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yes, there's lots of species of leaf-eating beetles. You don't tend to see them in quantities that will destroy plants though.
     
  8. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    they don't seem to have come back so I am happy but keeping a watch out for them
     
  9. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Update on the beetles. They have not come back to the fruit trees but have moved to the other side of my 10 acres & are trying very hard to kill my 18 month old pepper trees. They have stripped off every leave on two of the trees I've started a spraying program for the pepper trees & I think I have got in early enough to save them but it will have knocked the pepper trees back a bit which is a right B as I want the pepper trees to grow fast to produce shade & shelter in the paddocks. I am really surprised how quickly they stripped the trees of every leave.
    I really think that the heavy grazing that had happened on my land for many years has taken a heavy toll on the soil & bugs (good & bad) so I think it will take some years to settle out again & in the meantime I am going to have to deal with the imbalances as best I can. and that probably means having to use sprays but at least all I have to use on the beetles is pyrethrum not agent orange.
     
  10. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Well that must be very satisfying, Flatland.
    Just be aware that Pyrethrum is a broad spectrum insecticide just like the rest.
    It is an indiscriminate killer although is not residual.
    Sometimes the good guys like lady bugs take a while to catch up with the bad critters but it is all part of nature.
    Eventually it would be good if you can wait & watch, so that nature can have a chance to get control for you.
     
  11. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I understand that Pyrethrum kills the goodies as well as the baddies but at the moment there are no goodies around. I think the problem is the land has been grazed to death and sprayed every year to get rid of red legged earth mite so everything else has been gotten rid of. At the moment I feel my only options are let the trees get killed or spray. My hope is by at least only spraying very small areas the good bugs can establish on the rest of the place and move in. I am starting to see this in the scrub area on the other side of the block. This is near my orchard so maybe that has something to do with the beetles leaving my orchard alone. I have noticed that the red legged earth mite are not doing as much damage as they did. I have been slashing any effected plants and that stops the mite without the use of spraying.

    I think getting this place to where I want it to be will be a slow process. But that's OK. My last place was the same. When we first moved there the weeds were totally out of whack. It was fun to watch as slowly one weed would get controlled and then a different one would come to the front and when that one was in control a third one would come, and so on. It was all to do with resting spent soil and letting it recover some balance which it did.
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I've been trying to grow pepper for years but everything loves to eat it so it is constantly stunted!
     
  13. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've always been told that pepper trees are very hardy grown anywhere with no water & no care. But I seem to be finding out that is not true. The spraying seems to have worked as the trees affected have started putting out new shoots. I am going to keep a close eye on them to make sure nothing else trys to eat them
     
  14. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Flatland when you say 'pepper tree' do you mean the Pepperina or Peppercorn Tree, Schinus Molle?
    Gnarly tree with small ferny type leaf & red berries.
    Mark I think, was referring to his pepper vine that produces the pepper we have with salt.

    peperina tree.jpg


    Another tree that should do ok down your way Flatland, is the Athel Pine, Tamarix Aphylla, which is a type of casuarina. Although in most states it is now considered a weed species due to it's capacity to spread easily along waterways.

    Athel Pine.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  15. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Peppercorn tree the one with red berries. In SA they are only ever called pepper trees the corn bit gets lost don't know why. They are my favourite tree mainly because my grandmother had a huge one. Childhood memories always have a way of staying with you. Anyway I am growing them for shade & shelter I got them for free. Another tree that I am growing for shelter is the fusia gum they seem to be growing well & fast so I might buy some more of them & I bought some pigeon pea seeds which are starting to sprout. My idea was that the pigeon pea would get me shelter quickly until the pepper trees have had time to grow.
    My other favorite tree is the sheoak but I am not having any luck with them because the rabbits can smell thema mile off & come running to gobble them up. I am sure sheoaks must be rabbit number one food.
     
  16. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Here we are talking about pepperinas & peppercorn trees.
    Low & behold what do I see in Bunnings plant section yesterday at Noosaville?
    A peppercorn tree!
    Seemed like the leaves were too big tho. I'm thinking something dodgy going on.
     
  17. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It is a sad fact that many places including many nurseries will miss label plants. Whether mistake or on purpose who knows But it is very annoying when you pay decent money for an Imperial manadrin care for it wait the 2 - 3 years for it to produce only then to discover it is not an Imperial but some other varity that you didn't want & don't like. This happened to me & of course by that time you can't take it back & say this plant is wrongly labelled
     
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