I farm in the Karoo where we have been plagued by stag beetles. They’re exceptionally tough pests that destroy the new growth on the branches of our fig trees and there’s also a larva or caterpillar that tunnels into the tree trunks – all the fig trees in town are dying. After Garden Ripcord was recommended, I’ve regularly drenched the trunks of my trees, but to no avail. Do you have a better suggestion?
The long-horned stag beetle is a tough specimen that you’re not going to get rid of easily. And yes, it’s the stag beetle that’s burrowing into your tree trunks to lay its eggs. Start by wrapping the bottom metre or so of each tree in a fine mesh to prevent the beetle from getting in to lay its eggs, and then spray the adults with Cypermethrin. The only way to get rid of the larvae in the trunk is by sticking thin binding wire into the holes and physically stabbing them to death – and unfortunately the larvae can survive in the tree trunk for up to three years.
Words: Home magazine