Characteristics, damage, symptoms and treatment of the olive fruit fly

In the same way, we can know the olive fly by the scientific name of Bactrocea oloeae , this type of insect being a species that belongs to the Tephritidae family.

In the same way we can highlight that this is a fly known by the name that we have already mentioned because when it is in its larval stage, it usually uses the fruit pulp as a food source , being the cause of this fact for which it was given the name of the olive fly, so this is a species that comes to meet the characteristics of the flies that feed on the fruits.


  • 1 Characteristic of the olive fruit fly
  • 2 Damage and symptoms it causes
    • 2.1 Direct damage
    • 2.2 Indirect damage
  • 3 Treatments
    • 3.1 Placing traps en masse
    • 3.2 Biological control
    • 3.3 Chemical control
    • 3.4 Bait treatment
    • 3.5 Total treatment

Characteristic of the olive fruit fly

Characteristics of the olive fruit flyTo begin, we will start from the main characteristics of the morphology of the olive fly, being important to point out that related to what the eggs that belong to this species are, we know that they can have a measurement that is between 0, 7 millimeters and in turn 1.2 millimeters , at the same time it has a figure that is elongated and that also has a base that is flat, in the same way, this is an egg that has the opportunity to have what is a species of tubercle, which has the function of fulfilling the process of respiration of the embryo.

Once the egg has passed from this stage to the larva, the characteristics that it possesses are related to its appearance, since it usually has a conical shape and at the same time similar to a cylinder , in the same way We can highlight that once the aforementioned larva is in a certain state of maturity, it can reach a size that can be found between 6 millimeters and 7 millimeters.

On the other hand, and if we talk about the color that this larva has, it has a tone that is between white and yellow .

When this species has already finished going through each of the phases that have to do with the development of its morphology and is already in what is the state of a fly in its adult stage , it has certain measures that are among the 4 to 5 millimeters.

Generally, in order to highlight what this species looks like, we must take into account that it has a black color at the apex of the wings and remains extended until it reaches the anal cell.

On the other hand, and taking into account the characteristics that stand out from the olive fly in its adult stage, we can say that it has a certain color in brown and reddish tones and with respect to the thorax area that the olive fly has, It has a certain yellow color.

On the other hand, with respect to the case of the wings, we can observe that they are transparent.

Regarding the biological cycle of this species, we know that it has the capacity to vary depending on the season of the year , since when the weather is hottest during the months that correspond to the season of spring and summer, this has a period or also phases of life that are completely different from those that happen when the olive fly has the opportunity to live in what are the months with the coldest temperatures of the year, these being the autumn and winter seasons.

Damage and symptoms it causes

Damage caused by the olive flyThe damage that the olive fly usually produces is only in the fruit, more specifically, that is, it occurs when they are in their larval stage and can be of two different kinds:

direct damage

The deterioration of the pulp is produced by the galleries that make the fruit completely useless as table olives, apart from the fact that the fruits fall before they can be harvested and have a considerably reduced weight.

indirect damage

These represent a source of infection for bacteria and also fungi to penetrate, modifying the organoleptic characteristics and acidity, causing the olives that are used for the production of oil to be of poor quality.


Olive fly treatmentsFor the treatment against the olive fly, either to control or prevent, it is very important to keep in mind the levels of the olive fly population , in order to be able to carry out the optimal moment of application, reduce the impact on the medium and at the same time achieve the maximum possible effectiveness.

In this way we can perform different control methods such as:

Placing traps en masse

The first thing to be able to control the pest is to have the necessary knowledge about the level of the population, as we have already mentioned, and for this we can use the abuse of traps , something that is done using a series of attractive products in order to reduce the number. of flies when they are in their adult phase and at the same time we can quantify the population. We can carry out this task with fly swatters or also with monochromatic traps , which are gummed on both sides covered with pheromones, reducing the population of males and therefore reducing reproduction.

Biologic control

Taking into account the studies that have been carried out, natural enemies do not play a relevant role with respect to the control of the olive fruit fly, it simply decreases the development of the pest through the presence of Opius Concolor in the field, which is a parasitoid insect that feeds on the olive fly, thus decreasing the growth of its population.

chemical control

Taking into account what the percentage of chopped olives is, we can carry out two completely different kinds of treatment:

bait treatment

In general, it is usually done when the percentage of chopped olives per tree is quite low, between 1 and 2%, or when more than five adult flies have been collected for each fly swatter. This is a solution that is made up of a hydrolyzed protein that acts as a bait that is mixed with an insecticide such as dimethoate and water, since you only have to spray the south face of the olive tree to be able to reduce the adult phase population.

overall treatment

This is used when the percentage of chopped olives per tree is between 7 and 8% and it is about wetting the entire surface of the tree in order to eliminate both adult flies and larvae.

Characteristics, damage, symptoms and treatment of the olive fruit fly

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