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Olive fly, remedies and treatments


We have already talked about theolive fly, the speciesBactrocera oleae which has detrimental effects on the crop causing a successful crop ofolives; on this page we will further explore how to fight the olive flyand what are the first warning signs to notice in order to start an appropriate treatment.

When the fruit appears, pay attention to notice small "black dots". It is not uncommon for those who cultivate theolivesnotes small blackening, first in a small part and then until it covers the entire fruit and causes it to fall. The olive fly can cause great damage to the crop, up to completely compromising the fruits that are dry and full of worms, which are actually the same larvae as the fly.

The females of the insect lay their eggs just below the surface of theolives. From the eggs, larvae develop which within a few weeks (three are enough!), After digging tunnels and devouring the pulp ofolive tree, give rise to a new generation of adults.

The damage to the crop is quantitative due to the removal of pulp and therefore with a low production ofoil. Thereolive flyit also causes qualitative damage as it alters, in the fruit itself, the main analytical and sensory parameters for evaluating the oil. The result? Poor production with low quality oil.

Olive fly and temperatures

Thereolive fly, theBactrocera oleae, is the main parasitic insect ofolive treewidespread in all areas of Italy with higher concentrations in the coastal and / or less high ones.

Thereolive flyit spreads more when the summers are cool and very humid, interspersed with unusually mild autumn and winter seasons, just like the past vintage 2013-2014. Furthermore, given that the autumn we have just left behind was the hottest ever for us Italians (+ 2.1 ° C above average), there are many chances that next year's harvest could also be compromised byolive fly, especially if summer 2015 will be as fresh as last year.

It is known, in fact, that the risk of infestations witholive flyit increases when temperatures tend to be lower than summer averages and higher than winter averages. On the contrary, cold and harsh winters limit the survival of the wintering forms (adults and pupae) as well as the high summer temperatures limit the survival of the juvenile forms (eggs and newborn larvae).

How to get rid of the olive fly

The fight againstolive flydiffers depending on the type ofcultivation: conventional or organic. For those who prefer natural remedies and the organic cultivation method, a preventive fight is carried out with sexual or food attractants poisoned with toxins or bio pesticides, in this way the adult flies are eliminated before laying the eggs. Among the traps with bait to be placed to eliminate the olive flies, we point out the traps TAP-TRAP, shown in the photo above and to be prepared with a suitable bait (based on pheromones or protein baits such as a raw sardine).

In organic olive cultivation, and, in general, in years at risk of heavy infestation (characterized by cool summers and mild previous winters), it is advisable to proceed with the harvest as soon as possible. By anticipating the harvest, always respecting the shortage time of the product used for the treatment, it is possible to circumvent the damage of the olive fly.

In conventional cultivation, the interventions are curative with insecticides that penetrate and circulate inside the fruit (these are cytotropic insecticides). These insecticides are capable of targeting any form of fly capable of damaging the olive tree, from eggs to larvae of all ages.

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