Spring Garden Tips
Managing Picnic Beetles

Eat up and clean up to keep those little black beetles from enjoying your harvest.

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mgm_audio_517_picnic_beetleKnown as picnic beetles, sap beetles, or little black bugs, these scavengers can be found in overripe strawberries and raspberries, cracks in ripe tomatoes, ears of corn and more.

Since they are attracted to overripe and damaged fruit, regular harvesting and sanitation will help keep these pests at bay. Avoid pesticides that require a waiting period before you can continue to harvest as this delays picking and will result in even more overripe fruit that attracts more beetles into your garden.

Some gardeners find trapping effective. You may want to try this popular recipe: Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup dark corn syrup, one cake of yeast, and a spoonful of vinegar. Place the mixture in a container outside the garden. Use it to attract the beetles away from the garden, trap and drown them.

A bit more information: Any fermenting plant juices will also work. Some gardeners report success using ripe bananas and melon to attract and trap these insects.

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