Olive Fly: Time to Start Spraying

olive-fruit-fly

The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera:Tephritidae), is an important pest to be very aware of if you grow olives (Olea europaea). This pest was introduced and invaded California around 1998, and spread rapidly throughout the state and northern Mexico (Rice et al., 2003). It is very prevalent in Europe.

We are spraying our trees every other week. Some growers spray each week. Each time we spray every other row and then alternate each two weeks. I always spray each of the border trees. Not sure if it makes a difference but it makes sense to me to set up a barrier. I spray a target spot on each tree about the size of a dinner paper plate, at mid-level of the tree. I must admit that I have a great time spraying, me in the early morning, with little Casey riding along beside me. With coffee in hand and dog biscuits, we drive around the property and watch the birds and inspect each tree.

Paul Vossen is one of the leading experts in olive growing in California. His chapter in Organic Olive Production in the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication No. 3505 from 2007 is very relevant and worth reading. Along with his co-author Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, Mr. Vossen states that this is the most economically significant pest of olives. If you spray you can save up to 80% or more of the crop. This is very economically important.

Per Mr. Vossen, “The Olive Fruit fly belongs to the family Tephritidae, a group that includes such economically important flies as the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), the walnut husk fly (Rhagoletis complete), the apple maggot (R. pomonella), and the Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis). Chapter 6, Pg. 47.

olive fly maggot

An adult can lay 50 to 400 eggs in a lifetime, one in each olive. As the maggot grows it eats the inside of the olive and destroys the fruit.

To prevent this destruction we spray with GF-120 Naturalyte a bait spray using the active ingredient Spinosad. Spinosad is a fermentation byproduct of the actinomycete bacteria Saccharopolyspora spinosa. Hence the name spinosad. This is a certified organic spray. It seems to have little effect on honey bees and ladybugs.

Begin spraying early and continue into the Fall harvest. We inspect each batch of olives and may reject olives that are heavily infested as this will affect the taste of the oil. And we do not want olive flies here at our Farm.

Call us if you have any questions or problems with olive fly. We can help you with some small amounts of GF-120 if you have only a few olive trees.

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Custom Milling

Bring us your olives to be crushed in our state of the art Italian mill.

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Tastings

Taste extra virgin and co-milled flavored olive oils.

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Il Fiorello Blog

Keeping you up to date on all things olive and olive oil.

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Google Reviews

Zack Gallinger-Long
Zack Gallinger-Long
23:44 07 Jul 19
We learned so much about olive oil! The tasting flight was very eye opening and a lot of fun to do with friends. We were on vacation and had a great time when we stopped in here. I wish we had a place like this where we live.
Sharman Bruni
Sharman Bruni
16:22 02 Jun 19
First, I want to say that they have amazing employees, they are so warm and informative! I'm very glad I came here for my first olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting. The food pairing was a wonderful surprise and the gelato was delicious, unexpectedly with the olive oil on top. Seeing the plants and nature in the back was very therapeutic. I can't wait to come here again.
Caitlin Dinn
Caitlin Dinn
00:45 28 Apr 19
You definitely don't want to miss this hidden gem!!! My friends and I were lucky enough to receive a tour of the grounds from Mary, who is extremely knowledgeable of the entire olive oil industry and organic farming. It's absolutely incredible, everything served to us is made directly from their farm. Nothing goes to waste, from the skin of the olives to the food they feed to their chickens. It's truly something you don't see anymore!! Next, we had an unbelievable tasting with Gabe, who made the tasting a blast! Even if you've done an olive tasting before, this is a completely new experience. Come to find out, I have never bought REAL extra virgin olive oil!! From the minute you step in, you feel welcomed by the entire staff. You could spend the entire relaxing and playing games in the back terrace enjoying a glass or wine or beer (YES, THEY HAVE BEER!!) Truly not to be missed and is a great get away from the typical wine tour. Thanks again for welcoming us in!!
Joni Howell
Joni Howell
23:13 01 Mar 19
Had a wonderful time and was extremely informative! Their little shop let's you bring some goodies home with you.
Dmitriy
Dmitriy
21:44 31 Dec 18
We neglected to book in advance, but they were able to accommodate us for a tour and tasting on short notice. It was a delightful tour, with two hours of personal service for our group of three -- a great value for the price. I think they lose money on the tours and make it back at the gift shop.
Next Reviews

Custom Milling

Bring us your olives to be crushed in our state of the art Italian mill.

read more...

Tastings

Taste extra virgin and co-milled flavored olive oils.

read more...

Il Fiorello Blog

Keeping you up to date on all things olive and olive oil.

read more...

Google Reviews

Zack Gallinger-Long
Zack Gallinger-Long
23:44 07 Jul 19
We learned so much about olive oil! The tasting flight was very eye opening and a lot of fun to do with friends. We were on vacation and had a great time when we stopped in here. I wish we had a place like this where we live.
Sharman Bruni
Sharman Bruni
16:22 02 Jun 19
First, I want to say that they have amazing employees, they are so warm and informative! I'm very glad I came here for my first olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting. The food pairing was a wonderful surprise and the gelato was delicious, unexpectedly with the olive oil on top. Seeing the plants and nature in the back was very therapeutic. I can't wait to come here again.
Caitlin Dinn
Caitlin Dinn
00:45 28 Apr 19
You definitely don't want to miss this hidden gem!!! My friends and I were lucky enough to receive a tour of the grounds from Mary, who is extremely knowledgeable of the entire olive oil industry and organic farming. It's absolutely incredible, everything served to us is made directly from their farm. Nothing goes to waste, from the skin of the olives to the food they feed to their chickens. It's truly something you don't see anymore!! Next, we had an unbelievable tasting with Gabe, who made the tasting a blast! Even if you've done an olive tasting before, this is a completely new experience. Come to find out, I have never bought REAL extra virgin olive oil!! From the minute you step in, you feel welcomed by the entire staff. You could spend the entire relaxing and playing games in the back terrace enjoying a glass or wine or beer (YES, THEY HAVE BEER!!) Truly not to be missed and is a great get away from the typical wine tour. Thanks again for welcoming us in!!
Joni Howell
Joni Howell
23:13 01 Mar 19
Had a wonderful time and was extremely informative! Their little shop let's you bring some goodies home with you.
Dmitriy
Dmitriy
21:44 31 Dec 18
We neglected to book in advance, but they were able to accommodate us for a tour and tasting on short notice. It was a delightful tour, with two hours of personal service for our group of three -- a great value for the price. I think they lose money on the tours and make it back at the gift shop.
Next Reviews