March is the time to be on the lookout for Flower Beetles, Euphoria sepulcralis,
on your tomato plants and mango and avocado trees. Go to the Flower Beetle fact sheet for information about this insect at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN750
. It is about a half inch in length and shiny and black in color with white markings on its back.
Flower Beetles feed on tomato fruits and on the blossoms of many plants including mangoes and avocados. The appearance of large numbers of this pest at this time of year can mean a signicant loss of avocado and mango flowers and a subsequent decrease in the amount of fruit appearing on the trees.
If you observe this beetle, place a white bucket with a few inches of water under the edge of the tree’s canopy, then simply collect, remove and destroy the beetles. This does not provide total control but does provide some relief from large populations. Determine if the beetle is damaging any flowers before using a pesticide.
This article was updated in March, 2013.