July 07, 2006
There have been big increases in olive fly trapping in California this season. Several factors have contributed.
Last year many table olive producers had poor quality fruit and with the high cost and unavailability of labor to pick, the fruit were left on the tree. Olives left in the orchard give the fly a chance to multiply and over winter.
Olive Growers Council Chairman Rod Burkett of Strathmore was quoted in their newsletter as saying that "We cannot and will not continue farming olives under current economic conditions. Growers are continuing to leave the industry by selling, bulldozing trees or simply abandoning their groves." Abandoned groves are a haven for the olive fly.
The fly is naturally migrating to previously lightly infested areas.
What to do:
Olive fly info:
- UC Davis 2006 recommendations
- California Olive Oil Council website
- Olive Oil Source olive fly info page
- UC Davis pest management
Early detection - consider the PHEROCON Olive fruit fly kit which contains 6 yellow stick traps, 6 sex pheromone lures, enough product to service six different sites for up to 4 weeks. Call 866-785-1313 for suppliers. McPhail traps are more effective but slightly more costly and difficult to maintain.
Marshall Johnson of the Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside UC Kearney Agricultural Center in Parlier has a great presentation with up to date information about the fly. Click for more information.