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An Overview of the Control Strategies employed to Manage Populations of the Olive Fly, Bactrocera oleae.

Owen Jones

Partner at Lisk & Jones Consultants Ltd, 68 Mill Road, Lisvane, Cardiff, CF14 0XJ, UK. E-mail: owenj@plaga.demon.co.uk

This paper reviews the historical and current methods used to control the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae, in the Mediterranean basin and California. Historically, the principal method of controlling this pest was through the use of organophosphate (OP) insecticides, most commonly dimethoate, mixed with protein hydrolysates applied in the form of bait sprays both aerially and from the ground, covering the olive trees to varying degrees and relaying on the protein attractant to draw the adult insect to the treated area. However, with increasing pressure to reduce or eliminate the use of such organophosphate insecticides, there are significant efforts being made to find alternative methods that can form the basis of Integrated Pest Management strategies for the olive fly. In many cases this has involved substituting the OP insecticide in a bait spray formulation with a more environmentally-acceptable killing agent such as a pyrethroid or a spinosad.

This paper reviews the historical and current methods used to control the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae, in the Mediterranean basin and California. Historically, the principal method of controlling this pest was through the use of organophosphate (OP) insecticides, most commonly dimethoate, mixed with protein hydrolysates applied in the form of bait sprays both aerially and from the ground, covering the olive trees to varying degrees and relaying on the protein attractant to draw the adult insect to the treated area. However, with increasing pressure to reduce or eliminate the use of such organophosphate insecticides, there are significant efforts being made to find alternative methods that can form the basis of Integrated Pest Management strategies for the olive fly. In many cases this has involved substituting the OP insecticide in a bait spray formulation with a more environmentally-acceptable killing agent such as a pyrethroid or a spinosad. In both of these two latter cases the trend has been towards making the bait spray more concentrated and therefore less contaminating.
Monitoring systems have been widely used in most olive growing countries for a more rational use of conventional pesticides and they have undoubtedly lead to reductions in the use of conventional insecticides against this pest. Both food-derived attractants and semiochemicals in the form of sex pheromones are used widely for decision making and timing of insecticide sprays.
Alternative control strategies that have been attempted include biotechnical methods involving mass trapping and lure and kill of the adult flies using food baits and the fly’s sex pheromone. Microbial control agents have been investigated for control of olive flies but with very little success in the case of viruses and bacteria. However, ntomopathogenic fungi such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae have given better results and may provide environmentally acceptable solutions for the future. The contribution that natural enemies can make to the biological control of the olive fly has also been limited. Several attempts have been made to use the Braconid parasitoid Opius concolor but with low levels of success. Sterile insect techniques (SIT) have also been investigated but as yet they have not been widely used. However, novel SIT technologies such as those involving genetically-induced sterility may provide a highly species-specific control method provided the regulatory hurdles can be overcome.

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In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.