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|Sap beetles often fly to ripening or damaged raspberries, strawberries, melons, early apples, tree wounds, corn, tomatoes, and osage orange fruits.
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Reference: Ohio State University Extension
Sap beetles often fly to ripening or damaged raspberries, strawberries, melons, early apples, tree wounds, corn, tomatoes, and osage orange fruits. They may bore into the fruit, eat a portion and make it unfit for human consumption. The picnic beetle is essentially a secondary invader of damaged plants and decomposing plant tissue, but in undamaged ear corn silks and ripe raspberries, it can be a primary invader. The strawberry sap beetle is a primary invader of ripe and nearly ripe strawberries. As a nuisance, sap beetles may congregate in annoying numbers on screen doors, around garbage cans, invade homes, backyards, picnic areas, food processing plants, and roadside fruit and vegetable stands.
Picnic beetle adults are about 1/4-inch long and black with four orange-red spots on the wing covers. Eggs are milky-white, sausage-shaped, and about 1/32-inch long.
Dusky sap beetle adults are about 1/8-inch long with short wing covers and are uniform dull black in color.
Strawberry sap beetle adults are slightly less than 1/8-inch long, light to dark brown, oval, and somewhat flattened. Larvae of all three are white. Pupae are white, turning cream-colored and later tan before adult emergence.
Life Cycle and Habits
Newly emerged adults do not lay eggs but congregate on screen doors, around garbage cans, in picnic areas and parks, and about anywhere food is grown or being served. They are a general nuisance, attracted to sweet or fermented plant juices. Beetles are found on cracked tomatoes, damaged sweet corn ears, overripe muskmelons, strawberries, and raspberries.
The life cycle of the dusky sap beetle is about 30 days with three to four generations per year. Some females lay more than 300 eggs and live as long as 147 days. The strawberry sap beetle primarily attacks strawberries. Sap beetles also disseminate organisms that cause rots in the fruits. Some sap beetles bore into the fruit, devour a portion, and lay eggs. Larval damage is usually only slight and often goes unnoticed.
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|Data Source: Ohio State University Extension. Articles and resource may contain pesticide recommendations that are subject to change at any time. These recommendations are provided only as a guide and it is always the pesticide applicator's responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used.|