Monday, August 10, 2009

If it's not one thing, it's another: A backyard ecology experiment

The birds were eating the figs, so a bird net was acquired and thrown over the tree. Problem solved, right?
Of course not. It took about 2 weeks for the GGM june bugs to move in. Check out the giant, green metallic pests and the damage they are wreaking. So the smart guy who often hangs out in my backyard postulated that the net may be keeping the birds from eating the bugs - leaving them to decimate my figs. So I've estimated the GGM june bug orgies destroy about 3 figs a day.
To test the ecological hypothesis, the bird net has been removed. We'll see how much damage the GGM bugs do over the next few days - will they be eaten by the birds and crows? Will the birds ignore the bugs and feast on the figs that haven't yet been shredded? Breaking story coming tomorrow. Or relatively soon at least.


  1. I searched for "big bugs eating my figs what to do" and stumbled onto your blog. You are right, I'm losing 3 or so figs a day. I thought it was the birds but I am sure it's the green bugs. let me know what you find and if there's a way to keep them away. I'm in San Diego, CA.



  2. Well, taking the bird net off did seem to help. The day after taking it off, there was only one eaten fig and one bug on the plant. Also, I don't remember the bugs last year - which makes me wonder if they were drawn in by the rotten/overripe fruits. The bugs didn't appear until after I put the bird net on - when I was lazy about picking the fruit (inconvenient to go under the net). So maybe picking every day will help? Also we started picking the not quite ripe ones and bringing them inside to hopefully ripen. And I'm in San Diego too - those bugs are seasonal, but if their timing aligns with the fig timing, then we might be out of luck.