The fig tree ( Ficus carica ) is one of the oldest domesticated crops. Sometimes it is visited by pests. Here’s what they are and how to fight them.


Aphids (Aphidoidea) are a maximum of 7 millimeters in size. They come in many colors, for example green, black-brown or red-brown. Some animals can even change color from green to red when infested with a specific bacterium.

damage picture

  • verkümmerte Triebspitzen
  • yellow spots on the leaves
  • stunted growth of the plant
  • black discoloration on some leaves
  • curled and curled leaves
  • stripped white skins of lice on leaves
  • crippled leaves
  • Aphids on freshly sprouted leaves and soft shoot tips
Note: You can also recognize an aphid infestation by a sticky coating (honeydew) on the leaves and shoots. This is the part of the sugar juice sucked out of the plant that the lice excrete.


  • too dark location
  • Diseases
  • over-fertilization
  • water shortage
  • missing nutrients


Natural predators

Aphids can be easily combated with natural predators. This includes:

  • gall midge larvae
  • domestic ladybugs and ladybug larvae
  • catchy tunes
  • lacewing larvae
  • parasitic wasps

nettle cold water extract

  • 500 grams of fresh or 50 grams of dried nettle leaves
  • Pour 5 liters of water over the leaves
  • Leave for 12 hours
  • then stir vigorously and strain
  • pour into a spray bottle
  • spray the entire plant with it
  • protect floor
  • repeat at intervals of 7 days

Cold water extract from field horsetail

  • 200 grams of dried horsetail or 1 kilogram of fresh herb
  • pour over 2 liters of water
  • leave for 24 hours
  • then stir well and strain
  • pour into a spray bottle
  • spray the fig tree several times a day with the extract
  • repeat at intervals of 7 days

fig leaf moth

The fig leaf moth (Choreutis nemorana), also known as the fig spreader moth, is a member of the Lepidoptera family. It has brownish mottled wings with a span of 16 to 20 millimeters. Their caterpillars, which cause the actual damage, are 10 mm in size. However, you can recognize the pests by their yellow-black spots.

damage picture

  • Feeding marks on the upper side of individual leaf lobes
  • rolled-up leaf edges, in which the caterpillars pupae with a web of silk threads
  • Caterpillar droppings on leaves or on the ground near the plant
  • Caterpillars on leaves and other plant parts
  • Curling and discoloration of the leaves


  • wrong location
  • dryness



It is best to collect the caterpillars regularly and remove the webs. Then place the fig tree in a more suitable location. For example, he appreciates southern house walls and bright inner courtyards.

scale insects

Scale insects (Coccoidea) grow up to 6 millimeters in size and can therefore be seen with the naked eye. The females are mostly immobile, while the males have wings. Scale insects have protective armor that cannot be removed. The solid shield of the pests is colored yellowish, reddish, brown or black depending on the species and consists of wax, resins and substances similar to spider silk.

damage picture

  • shiny, sticky honeydew mass on plant parts
  • small cover-like elevations on leaves and in leaf axils (scale insects)
  • stunted and discolored leaves
  • dropped leaves
  • crusted shoots
  • white coating
  • Buds fall off unopened


  • waterlogging
  • wrong location
  • lack of nutrients
  • lack of water
  • too dry air
  • Over-fertilization with nitrogenous fertilizer



  • Put 1 teaspoon of neem oil in a bowl
  • fill up with 1 liter of water
  • mix well
  • Pour mixture into a spray bottle
  • shake well
  • Spray figs with it several times a day
  • Repeat daily for several weeks
Note: This neem oil mixture can also be used against other pests as it suppresses the ability to reproduce.

Plant decoction of wormwood and bracken

  • Put 500 grams of wormwood and 500 grams of bracken in a saucepan
  • pour over 1 liter of water
  • boil briefly
  • then simmer gently for 40 minutes
  • remove from the stove and let stand for 24 hours
  • strain and dilute with lime-free water in a ratio of 1:10
  • Pour the juice into a spray bottle
  • Spray leaves dripping wet from above and below
  • Repeat 2 days apart for several weeks
Tip: Scale insects on figs can also be combated with tried and tested remedies that help against aphids, such as cold water extract of stinging nettle.


  • Soak cotton swabs with alcohol
  • Dab scale insects with it
  • repeat several times a day

spirit of wine

  • Soak a cloth in alcohol
  • Wipe affected leaves and other parts of the plant with it
  • repeat several times a day

spider mites

Spider mites (Tetranychidae) reach a body length of 0.25 to 0.8 millimeters and are pear-shaped. They can be greenish, red, yellowish or orange in colour.

damage picture

The spider mites, which usually appear in the winter quarters of the figs (when kept in buckets), are hardly recognizable due to their tiny size. But the following points draw your attention to the little animals:

  • Webs and fine threads between the leaf axils and under the leaves
  • stunted growth of the plant
  • Webs on the upper side of the leaf in the case of a stronger infestation
  • dried leaves and dead plant parts
  • Discoloration of the leaves to light or dull green
  • susceptibility to disease
  • bright speckles on the upper side of the leaf


  • dry room air
  • too few nutrients
  • not enough water
  • over-fertilization


increase in humidity

Spider mites can be combated very well with moist air. Increase the humidity by spraying the fig tree with water several times a day. Equally helpful are water evaporators and indoor fountains that are set up near the fig tree.

If the fig tree is still very small, it can also be rinsed with water and then wrapped in a plastic bag. Simply tie the bag at the top. Leave the plant for 12 hours. During this time, a very high level of humidity forms inside the bag, which the spider mites do not like at all. Then rub the leaves and other parts of the plant well to remove the spider mites. Repeat several times a week.

predatory mites

Spider mites can also be combated biologically with their enemies, the predatory mites (Phytoseiulus persimilis). They eat the pests on your figs at various stages of development. This also removes hidden spider mites.

Note: However, the predatory mites need an ambient temperature of 25 degrees and a humidity of 75 percent.

frequently asked Questions

Yes, that is also possible. It is best to spray the fig tree with a jet of water from the garden hose. But not in the blazing sun, so that the leaves don’t burn.

Yes, garlic broth also helps with pests on figs. For the broth, pour 3 liters of boiling water over 100 g of finely chopped garlic. Let the mixture steep for 4 hours and then pass it through a sieve. Before pouring the finished garlic stock into a spray bottle, allow it to cool. Spray the fig tree to dripping wet. Protect your floor if the tree is in a bucket indoors.

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