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New Resource Will Help Growers Manage the Olive Fruit Fly

An olive fruit fly male (Bactrocera oleae). Photo by Rollin Coville.

A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management aims to support California olive producers with an overview of the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae), which has become the key pest of olives since its introduction in 1998.

The author, Victoria Y. Yokoyama of the USDA-ARS, describes the biology and life history of the pest and discusses current techniques for detecting the adults and immature stages. Available control methods for are also listed and summarized, with suggestions for future olive fruit fly management in commercial olive orchards.

Control methods include intensive biological control programs and new techniques that use bait stations. Basic cultural-control practices — such as removal of non-harvested fruit that support multiple generations, timing of harvest to avoid adult activity, and elimination of standing water required by olive fruit fly adults for survival — are also discussed.

The author also lists species of parasitoid wasps that have been evaluated and used as natural enemies (biological control agents), and she briefly describes advantages and disadvantages of some of them, as well as their potential for future use.

The information in this open-access article is meant as a resource for all domestic and international olive fruit fly studies and control programs, especially in areas where olive fruit fly has been newly discovered.

Click here for the free, open-access article, “Olive Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) in California Table Olives, USA: Invasion, Distribution, and Management Implications.”

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