On our new property is this beautiful olive thicket decended from an ancient olive with a trunk about 2 foot in diameter that was hacked down many years ago. The tree is loaded with beautiful fruit we were so looking forward to harvesting.
Except they are all infested with olive fruit fly maggots...
SO, going to do what the conventional efforts to contain which is gather up and destroy all fruit, put out lots of bait traps during the year. I am going to prune the thicket heavily next year to limit fruit production but other than using the clay spray, anyone have an ACTUAL experience dealing with this little buggers?
Probably can't eliminate them enough to make a marketable olive but we can press them and make a decent oil in two years....
Hi there from Southern Catalonia, Spain. This fly has been a problem here for years, and the problem is getting worse.
The local remedy is to suspend bottles of an attractant on every five trees - with holes to let the little beggars in. Unfortunately, here they also spray the area using a small plane - which does little or nothing.
We pick our olives for oil early, and there are usually worms inside the olive, but if we leave them out in our trailer overnight, then the worms exit the fruit and crawl away.
We still make a good oil with low acidity (our last batch was 0.4º) but we cannot use this fruit for table olives which is a shame.
My friend lives in Jaen, olive capital of Spain (and the World?).
She says the there is a grasshopper that eat the flies, and as long as she doesn't remove the grass underneath the olives, she hasn't got a problem - even though all her neighbors have them. So attracting these grasshoppers might be a way forward.
Chickens love to eat olives - and probably the fly maggots - so maybe rotating chickens underneath the trees? That would give you eggs with super high omega3 content too and fertilize the trees. Perfect function stacking
This looks like a job for .... legal tender! It says so right in this tiny ad: