Don’s Expert Answers: I have dozens of brown speckled beetles on my orange tree. They appear to chew on the blossoms- not sure if they are affecting fruit set. Any ideas about their identity and whether or not I should manually remove and exterminate them. I have been removing them but then thought maybe they aren’t a pest. Would appreciate any help. Thanks.

Question From:
Denise Dowding in Birkdale, Brisbane Queensland

Nature of problem:
I have dozens of brown speckled beetles on my orange tree. They appear to chew on the blossoms- not sure if they are affecting fruit set. Any ideas about their identity and whether or not I should manually remove and exterminate them. I have been removing them but then thought maybe they aren’t a pest. Would appreciate any help. Thanks.

Type of Plant (if known):
Washington navel

Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself):
Plant at this stage doesn’t appear to be suffering.

Soil Type (e.g. sandy, clay or loam) OR Potting Mix Type:
Clay.

How often do you water the plant:
Weekly

How many hours of sunlight does the plant get each day:
12

How long since you planted it:
15years

Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:
Potash, animal manure,epsom salts,

Is the plant indoors or outdoors:
Outdoors

Is the plant in a pot or in the ground:
Ground

What other treatments have you given the plant:
Nil

Upload photo if available:

Other Comments:

Answer:
Hi Denise, This is a flower beetle, probably Protaetia fusca. They eat nectar and can do some damage to the flowers if they are in large numbers. I usually ignore them, but you might have a slightly smaller number of fruits this year. Don

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