Olive fruit fly

Class: Insects
Common Name: Olive fruit fly
Scientific Name: Bactrocera oleae and Dacus oleae
Potential Host:


Who Am I?

The olive fruit fly is considered a serious pest in olive crops with worldwide reports of infestation levels reaching up to 100% of the field.

Female olive fruit flies sting (lay eggs) inside mature fruits. Infested fruits develop dark purplish dots and small bumps on their peel. As time progresses, the eggs hatch, and larvae feed on internal tissues by tunneling through the interior of fruits. This leaves the fruits susceptible to a secondary pathogen invasion. Another important fact is that infested fruits tend to drop.

Control Measures

Effective management approaches will include: keeping track of weather conditions, monitoring the state and progress of fruits, and closely monitoring the fruit fly population.

Sanitation: Keep the crops’ close surroundings and environmental conditions neat by removing plant debris as often as possible.

Adjacent and abandoned fields with leftover fruit are potentially hazardous because they can incubate flies. Ask your neighbors to sanitize their fields at the end of each season; do it yourself so all of you benefit.

Monitoring: As the fruit ripens, it becomes attractive to the egg-laying females. If multiple AgrioShield alarms have accumulated, begin scouting the field.

In general, cooler and humid weather regions with temperatures between 18-32 degrees Celsius are optimal for fruit flies.

Mass Capturing Devices: In recent years, large parts of the world began using mass capturing devices after restrictions were placed on several chemicals. You can use specially designed traps for monitoring olive fruit fly infestation levels; check them on a regular basis to aid in treatment decisions.

Some capturing devices tend to attract and catch fruit flies efficiently, though only specific fruit fly species. Consult your local distributor for the type, timing, number, and positioning of the traps you have or wish to acquire.

The use of insecticides varies between countries and crops. One country may allow the use of a certain chemical, while another may prohibit it.

The following insecticides are used in one or more parts of the world: dimethoate, fenthion, dichlorvos, and deltametrin.

Spinosad can be applied.

*Names marked in red are considered to be highly poisonous to beneficial insects

*Names marked in green are considered to be IPM (integrated pest management) compatible

*Names marked in red are considered to be highly poisonous to beneficial insects.

*Names marked in green are considered to be organic and IPM (integrated pest management) compatible.

Caution and careful notice should be taken when using any plant protection products (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides). It is the grower’s sole responsibility to keep track of the legal uses and permissions with respect to the laws in their country and destination markets. Always read the instructions written on labels, and in a case of contradiction, work in accordance to the product label. Keep in mind that information written on the label usually applies to local markets. Pest control products intended for organic farming are generally considered to be less effective in comparison to conventional products. When dealing with organic, biologic, and to some extent a small number of conventional chemical products, a complete eradication of a pest or disease will often require several iterations of a specific treatment or combination of treatments.

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