Thursday, November 12, 2015

Coffee Bean Borer

There are a couple of pests that attack coffee, with the new kid on the block being the coffee bean borer. It's an incredibly tiny, itsy-bitsy black beetle that totally ruins the coffee bean that it bores into. Bad news. 

Up until last year I was not aware of any borer problems with my trees. But last year's harvest was affected and I suddenly became keenly aware of this pest. 

I don't have any photos to show you of the little beetle itself because I aggressively go after any infested immature cherries. Plus I diligently keep any dropped cherry picked up. Picked cherry is rigorously screened for borer and any infested cherries are totally destroyed. Thus I don't happen to have adult beetles walking around. I do indeed have traps for the female beetles, but currently they're aren't any in them to show you. If you're curious you'll just have to look it up on google. 

But I can show you infested green cherries. I went out searching for them today. Green immature cherries get bored into when they are the size of a jelly bean. The hole is always on the blossom scar end, sometimes dead center in the scar, sometimes slightly off to the side. Like the beetle itself, the hole is real tiny. 

Any cherry that I find with a hole is picked and destroyed so that no beetles can escape. If I cut through one of these green cherries, this is what it looks like inside. Either half, or the entire cherry is black and in the process of being destroyed. In the photo below, those three green cherries all have tiny holes visible. If I cut them open, they would be black inside too. 

Right now I'm checking my trees every two weeks. That seems to be enough. I'm not finding much damage. But I know that I'll never be able to eliminate the coffee bean borer from my farm. Why? One of my near neighbors has hundreds of feral, unattended coffee trees and has no interest in treating them for the borers. Plus she doesn't want anyone else to be messing on her property. Sigh. So I'm stuck with dealing with the borer. The best I can do is to prevent more beetles from propagating and trap as many females as I can before they find my trees. In the future, should the damage I am seeing becomes significant, then I plan to invest in fungi treatment to kill the remake beetles. Right now I am losing too little coffee to justify the expense and time to do this more aggressive treatment. Let's hope it stays that way for awhile. 

Here's a green cherry still on the tree with a beetle hole. 

This is what I want to see, heathy green cherries. No holes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment