Are these figeaters that we have in the compost pile?
January 10, 2010
We found A LOT of these grubs in our compost pile. Is our compost pile considered “infested” now and shouldn’t be use? Are they crawlybacks or figeaters? Though I never saw it crawl on its back. Do I pick them out? If they are figeaters does that mean the figs in my fig tree will be subject to attack?
San Jose, CA
You are absolutely correct. These are Crawly Backs, the larvae of the Green Fruit Beetle or Figeater, Cotinis mutabilis. The idea of a compost pile is that organic material is broken down by decomposition and the action of insects and worms. The Crawly Backs are assisting in the composting process. The beautiful adult beetles will eat fruit, but unless they are extremely plentiful, they will probably not significantly damage your fig crop. We expect birds and squirrels will eat more figs than the Figeaters. We would leave the Crawly Backs in the compost pile. We could not locate many images of Crawly Backs online, but we have out own posting from 2008 and Ask.Com has a nice image and some information.