Andalusia Sees Low Incidence of Olive Moth Infestation

The Andalusian regional government has reported olive moth infestation levels of approximately half those recorded in the same period of last year.
Olive Pearl Moth
May. 4, 2022
Simon Roots

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The Alert and Phytosanitary Information Network of Andalusia (RAIF) has clas­si­fied olive moth infes­ta­tion lev­els in the region as very low,” with an inci­dence of approx­i­mately half that seen in April 2021, although the organ­ism has been detected in all eight provinces.

Data from the Andalusian regional gov­ern­ment show that olive trees in the west­ern provinces are in a more advanced phe­no­log­i­cal growth stage, with iso­lated instances of flow­er­ing (BBCH-scale stages 60 to 61) already observed in Huelva, Cádiz, Seville and Córdoba; and petal fall (BBCH-scale stage 67) observed in cer­tain early-flow­er­ing vari­etals in Seville and Cádiz.

See Also:Researchers Reintroduce Bats to Andalusian Olive Groves to Combat Pests

In Andalusia as a whole, how­ever, most trees have been recorded as being between BBCH-scale stages 52 to 59, with flower clus­ters still devel­op­ing. Because of the rela­tion­ship between the olive moth life cycle and the phe­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ment of its host, the inci­dence of anthophagous (flower-eat­ing) gen­er­a­tion moths is cor­re­spond­ingly low.

As of April 27, no such activ­ity had been observed in either Granada or Jaén, 0.7 per­cent infes­ta­tion was recorded in Seville and Córdoba; and 0.2 per­cent in Málaga. These lev­els are exactly half of those recorded in the final week of April 2021. The only excep­tion to this low inci­dence is the province of Cádiz, which recorded an aver­age of 4.2 per­cent.

Despite most trees in Andalusia still being in the pre-flow­er­ing stages, how­ever, the aver­age inci­dence of phyl­lophagous (leaf-eat­ing) gen­er­a­tion olive moths is also very low, rang­ing from just 0.1 per­cent recorded in Cadiz, to a max­i­mum of 1.2 per­cent in Málaga and Granada.


In an offi­cial state­ment, the agency con­cluded that the pest is begin­ning its activ­ity, with very low and incip­i­ent dam­age in the most phe­no­log­i­cally advanced plots in almost all provinces, except for Granada and Jaén, where its activ­ity is still null. We could say that we are in a period of tran­si­tion between the phyl­lophagous and anthophagous gen­er­a­tion.”

As a means of bio­log­i­cal olive moth con­trol, RAIF rec­om­mends the release of lacewing lar­vae into groves at BBCH-scale stages 50 to 59.


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